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  • hammaad saghir

Investing in UK Clean Technology Hits a New High

Cleantech for the UK has conducted research that shows that the UK is behind in comparison to other nations regarding installing clean energy solutions and is experiencing increased rivalry from foreign countries.

The UK is a major global market for clean tech, with investment in the domain reaching an all-time high of £2.8bn in the previous year. Nonetheless, the nation is in danger of being surpassed by the US, China, and the EU unless "significant policy measures" are implemented to back the utilization of clean technologies.

Cleantech for UK's first annual report, funded by investors, has reached a headline conclusion. It has collected data from investments and deployment and surveyed the opinion of more than 70 individuals with expertise in clean tech to assess the state of the UK's cleantech environment.

The report stated that investment in the UK's clean energy and transport sectors had significantly increased during 2022, with the numbers being double that of the figures recorded between 2019 and 2020.

Mackintosh, the director of Cleantech for the UK and the report's primary author commented that the UK's cleantech ecosystem is "vibrant" and progressively expanding. Nevertheless, she cautioned that numerous cleantech startups with the potential for success are still facing hardships regarding growth.

According to her, to have a meaningful effect on the deployment of these technologies, there must be stronger market signals and more investment in growth-stage initiatives. The number of late-stage deals is typically only 30 percent of the amount of early-stage deals, while the global average is much closer to 50 percent.

The UK can stay at the forefront of cleantech innovation by addressing the present-day doubts regarding demand, establishing companies and projects ready for growth, and reinforcing its industrial structure.

In February of this year, a coalition of venture capital funds launched Cleantech for the UK, which is intended to provide more efficient assistance to developing UK cleantech companies. The initiative aims to help the next generation of green technologies.

The coalition is supported by Bill Gates's Breakthrough Energy, as well as the Cleantech Group. Its founding members comprise Imperial College London's Undaunted accelerator, Kiko Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Clean Growth Fund, Just Climate, and Legal & General Capital; all focused on cleantech venture capital and climate-led investing.

Jamie Vollbracht, the initiator of Kiko Ventures, rejoiced at the advances the UK has made in certain clean tech sectors, with a particular emphasis on decarbonizing electricity and forming an "innovative environment."

Despite this, he cautioned that the UK could be left far behind other countries, such as the US, China, and EU, if "substantial policy adjustments" are not made to increase investments in developed and emerging clean technologies.

He remarked that the US had immensely committed to tackling climate change with the Inflation Reduction Act. Likewise, China has a considerable industrial policy in solar, battery, and electric vehicle technology. To match the US IRA act, Britain would need to fork out around £33 billion, an intimidating amount. Nonetheless, that highlights the difficulty the UK is up against and the potential benefit if it navigates the situation well.

For the UK to keep up with international standards and legally meet climate targets, Cleantech for the UK emphasized the government's need to "endow the upcoming generation of cleantech leaders with the means to succeed."

The report noted that, while there were encouraging investment trends, the UK had yet to convert its "excellent" research and development into tangible progress in launching and developing clean tech businesses on a larger scale.

It was emphasized that to meet the UK's climate objectives, it will be essential to maintain policy consistency, provide long-term signals on public financial support and collaborate with other nations. Moreover, this could also help the UK to enhance economic benefits from its current innovations and even out the economic growth in the country.


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