A waste infrastructure developer has warned that a lack of clarity about government support is preventing green schemes attracting investment.
Ahead of next week’s Budget, Green Energy Parks project manager Helen Rome told MRW uncertainty over government support for waste infrastructure meant the firm had to look abroad for funding for its EnergyPark Peterborough biomass project.
She said economic and regulatory uncertainty could prevent the UK meeting its waste targets and hinder a growth sector of the economy.
“We see investment in infrastructure as a priority for the Budget,” she said. “Projects like ours are hampered by a lack of clarity for investors such as changes to Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROC).
“We need clarity from the Government on ROCs, on tax relief following the scraping of the industrial building allowance, and over the Enterprise Investment Scheme. Without market clarity we can’t build the waste infrastructure we need for the21st century.”
MRW reported last week that leading waste industry bodies were calling on the Government to remove disincentives to investment. The Environmental Services Association asked chancellor George Osborne to introduce a “green infrastructure investment allowance” tax relief.
Rome said the Peterborough project had been “forced to look abroad for funding”, because “the constant moving of the goalposts made the future of the project so uncertain”.
This led to significant delays.
“In 2010 we signed a £450m engineering, procurement and construction contract, but we still haven’t broken ground yet.”
Rome added: “Waste infrastructure is a growing sector, and it has a huge potential to aid the UK economy. If we’re going to meet the ambitious targets then the sector needs to be able to expand.”