Vestas, Areva Tell U.K. Ministers Job Growth Threatened by Delay

Vestas Wind Systems A/S, Areva SA and four other power-generation manufacturers wrote to ministers saying the U.K. risks falling behind European peers and choking job creation by stalling a decision on setting a carbon target.

The lack of a goal to cap emissions by 2030 from the power industry in the government’s Energy Bill submitted to parliament threatens to hold up investment in factories and push the U.K. further behind rivals such as Denmark and Germany, they said.

“This will slow growth in the low-carbon sector, handicap the U.K. supply chain, reduce U.K. research and development and produce fewer new jobs,” the manufacturers wrote in a letter dated March 7 to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, Business Secretary Vince Cable and Energy Secretary Ed Davey.

Lawmakers in the ruling Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties, as well as the Labour opposition, have called for a so-called decarbonization target to be added to the bill. Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica SA, Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe Ltd., Alstom SA and Doosan Power Systems U.K. also signed last week’s letter saying a goal is needed to give certainty to industry.

Davey, a member of the Liberal Democrat junior coalition partner, supported a target before opposition from Osborne, a Conservative who wants to delay a decision until 2016.

“Postponing the 2030 target decision until 2016 creates entirely avoidable political risk,” the producers said in the letter, e-mailed today, reiterating comments made in October.

Tim Yeo, a Conservative lawmaker who heads Parliament’s Energy and Climate Change Committee, and Labour lawmaker Barry Gardiner have drafted an amendment to the bill that would set a decarbonization target for the power sector sooner than 2016. Gardiner said in a Feb. 28 statement that they had gained the support so far of at least three Liberal Democrats.

Parliamentary authorities have yet to set a date for a third reading in the House of Commons of the Energy Bill.

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