Investment in the UK utility sector fell by 9.3% between January and April 2020, thanks to market uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to tax consultancy Catax.
The total investment in the first quarter reached £3.9 billion, compared to £4.3 billion in the same period last year according to figures from the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS), though the company notes the decline as being in step with the broader UK economy, which saw investment shrink by 10.4% over the same period.
“Business investment has tumbled against a backdrop of concern over the ability of customers to pay their bills and future rises in bad debts,” said Catax CEO Mark Tighe. “In addition, the energy regulator Ofgem is expected to reduce the price cap on tariffs in the coming months as it tries to help consumers, making the industry an even less appealing prospect.”
“However, the energy sector has seen the future during lockdown, with renewable electricity making up almost half of the power used in the UK in recent months. Investment in research and development of renewable technology will pay dividends both financially and in reducing global warming.”
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