Energy Secretary Ed Davey has today announced the UK energy sector is close to securing “tens of billions of pounds” in investment from the Far East.
Secretary Davey said China, Japan and Korea were set pour a ‘massive’ investment into nuclear energy as well as other technology, pointing to a close-to-final dealt build new reactors at Hinkley Point as a sign this new funding would help secure Britain’s energy future.
Following their criticism of the Coalition Government’s handling of the energy bill and fears there could be an energy shortage, Labour were quick to say Davey hasn’t done enough to help commercial energy investment land on UK shores. Davey, however, called into question the validity of the criticisms, given Labour’s “shocking” record in energy investment.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme, Mr Davey announced the progressive nature of his recent trip to China, confirming he has spoken to all the country’s leading energy suppliers to look at increasing two-way investment.
“The Chinese, along with the Japanese and the Koreans are very interested in the opportunities in the British nuclear sector. I think it is really possible we will see massive Chinese investment, not just in nuclear but across the board.”
“I think we will see massive Japanese and Korean investment. It is really critical we get that investment,” he said.
Commercial energy has been a topic high on the political agenda this October, with SSE claiming the unwanted title of the first of the big six energy companies to announce a price hike at the start of the month.
Whist Labour have pledged an energy bill price freeze should they win the general election in 2015, Davey said the SSE price raise was entirely expected and made no apology for raising prices as the UK invests in its generation and distribution infrastructure.
Mr Davey did, however, seem to be taking action on the report by Which?, which branded the commercial energy market a bewildering mess. The energy secretary said he had taken the time to write to the largest energy providers to ask what they were doing to simplify their bills and tariffs – and added he was expecting answers from them all by Monday.