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United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Iberdrola pledges £12 billion but with conditions

UK: Iberdrola chairman Ignatio Galan reaffirmed the company's investment plans for the UK but joined the list of wind industry CEOs asking for the government to create the right regulatory environment for investment.

 Galan... renewable energy is a priority
Galan... renewable energy is a priority

Speaking at the Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference, Galan said the company still planned to invest £12 billion in the UK over the next ten years. Out of this he said transmission and renewable energy, both offshore and onshore, will be "key priorities" over the coming years.

Galan also said the UK needs to complete the Energy Market Reform in order to "create a favourable atmosphere for investment". He also highlighted the role of combined gas plants in providing back-up.

His comments followed similar concerns about the UK's commitment to renewable energy from wind turbine manufacturers including Vestas, Siemens and Gamesa. Additionally, Iberdrola is reported to have contracted Italian bank Banca Leonardo to study and arrange the sale of its combined 550MW of onshore wind assets in France, Germany and Poland.

A jointly-signed letter also threatened to cancel plans to build turbine manufacturing plants in the UK. It said: "Historically the UK has benefited from being known as a country with low political risk for energy investments. Undermining that reputation would have damaging consequences for the scale of future investments in the UK energy sector. It is important to protect that reputation carefully."

The UK has to replace around 25% of its network by 2020 and is looking to provide much of this capacity through offshore wind. However, there have been political issues in the coalition government between the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Treasury.

Recently, Liberal Democrat energy minister Ed Davey removed responsibility for renewables from his Conservative junior minister.

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