Siemens deal: Hull council leader's concern at Government's 'mixed messages' on renewables
CITY council leader Steve Brady says he is concerned Siemens has threatened to shelve investment plans in the UK.
The German engineering giant is among seven global energy companies to have signed a letter expressing worries over the Government's energy policies.
The firm has yet to confirm long-standing proposals for an £60m offshore wind turbine assembly plant at Hull's Alexandra Dock.
Planning permission for the development was granted earlier this year but Siemens has yet to make a final commitment.
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Councillor Brady said: "I know for a fact Siemens is perfectly happy with us.
"As a local authority, we have done all we can to get them here and they know we have played ball.
"However, what happens next is out of our hands and that is what concerns me.
"Like any potential investor, they want a degree of certainty before they spend their money and this Government is not providing that at the moment."
The council leader said the Government was causing confusion over its commitment to renewables.
He said: "To be fair to the Liberal Democrats, they have long been in favour of green energy but the problem seems to lie with the Conservatives.
"They are sending out very mixed messages on the issue and they also have 100 MPs putting in a motion against onshore wind farms.
"I think that has created a lot of confusion, too."
He said the uncertainty was not only troubling companies like Siemens but also supply firms in the renewable energy sector which are seeking clarity on green policy from ministers.
In the letter, the seven firms say a lack of decision-making and threats to relax key targets on green energy production "have caused us to reassess the level of political risk in the UK".
Sent to Prime Minister David Cameron and copied to Chancellor George Osborne, the letter says plans for "significant further investment" in the UK "is critically dependent on a long-term stable policy framework".
The companies are also critical of support for developing British nuclear and gas-powered plants as an alternative pressing ahead with renewable energy plans and offshore wind farms.
Mr Brady said: "The previous Labour Government made it very clear they supported renewable energy and offshore wind in particular and would provide the necessary support to make it happen.
"I am fairly certain that was one of the main reasons Siemens decided to look at Hull in the first place."
A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: "A fifth of our power stations are closing over the next decade and we need to see £110bn in investment by 2020.
"The Government is taking action to give confidence to investors in renewables, new nuclear, gas and carbon capture and storage, supporting jobs the length and breadth of the country.
"The Energy Bill will be introduced within weeks, bringing about reforms of the electricity market vital to keeping the lights on and to significantly decarbonise the power sector."