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Britain’s energy rating downgraded

Britain relegated to an AAB energy rating following the government’s u-turns on green energy policy
Blue_Wind_Turbines Picture from MyGreenPod Sustainable News

The government’s premature cuts to wind and solar subsidies have led the UN-accredited World Energy Council to downgrade Britain’s energy rating from a first-class AAA to AAB.

UK set to miss renewables target – leaked letter and evidence session reveal we’re not on track to meet an already low target

An uncertain future

The downgrade is the result of uncertainty around how the government will support renewable energy in the future.

Britain now lags behind the AAA-rated Switzerland and Sweden in the World Energy Council’s 2015 Energy Trilemma Index.

The energy trilemma

The Energy Trilemma Index ranks countries in terms of their likely ability to provide sustainable energy policies through three dimensions:

Energy security: the effective management of primary energy supply from domestic and external sources, the reliability of energy infrastructure, and the ability of participating energy companies to meet current and future demand.
Energy equity: the accessibility and affordability of energy supply across the population.
Environmental sustainability: the achievement of supply and demand-side energy efficiencies and the development of energy supply from renewable and other low-carbon sources.

On the ‘watch list’

The UK is on a World Energy Council watch list, alongside Germany, Japan, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, Serbia, the UAE and the USA.

These countries are in the process of transitioning their energy systems, or have experienced recent or unscheduled events that aren’t yet reflected in the data that may lead to a change in Index performance in the near future.

Britain’s damaged reputation

The downgrade reflects the impact subsidy cuts have had on Britain’s reputation as an attractive renewable energy market.

This year, the government has scrapped subsidies for onshore wind and support for small-scale solar projects.

Deterring investors

Last month, two of Britain’s leading clean energy firms went into administration within hours of each other and a third has sold its UK business. Two of them blamed the government’s about-turn on energy policy.

Hundreds of jobs have been lost in the green energy sector as a result of the government’s policy u-turns, and a lack of transparency in the government’s approach to renewable energy is now scaring off investors.

Click here to see the full World Energy Council energy trilemma ratings.

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