The number of UK renewable energy projects supported by foreign investors has increased by 25% in a year, new figures have revealed.
A report from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), released on Sunday, showed that from 2013-14, the nation has attracted the most inward investment projects since records began in the 1980s. Overall, the UK attracted inward investment to 14% more projects than last year, with 66,390 new jobs created.
Among the sectors that most appealed to foreign investors is the renewable energy industry. Some 61 projects attracted backing from overseas, up from 46 in 2012-2013.
Among the most notable investments is Siemens’ £160 million support for an offshore wind turbine manufacturing plant in Hull, which will create 1,000 jobs.
Meanwhile, Canadian pension fund La Caisse bought a sizeable stake of the London Array – currently the world’s largest offshore wind farm – for £644 million.
Swedish energy firm Vattenfall also invested in a £400 million, 76-turbine onshore wind project in Wales.
The UK is listed among the world’s most attractive countries to renewable energy investors, thanks largely to its huge potential for offshore wind energy generation.
However, the nation did fall down the rankings in consultancy firm EY’s renewable energy Country Attractiveness Index this year, as the prospect of changes in government subsidies for solar and onshore wind farms troubled investors.
Responding to the UKTI report, prime minister David Cameron said, “I promise this government will continue to work on behalf of every hardworking business in the UK to drum up trade, encourage investment and pave the way for growth so we can generate jobs, pay our way in the world, and create stability, security and a brighter future for our country.”
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