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UK cleantech industry gets £250m Qatar investment boost

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been busy signing all manner of renewable energy and clean tech deals on his whirlwind tour the Gulf.

First up was a £250m ‘partnership’ between Qatar and the UK to help British companies develop new clean technologies. The partnership will be run by the Carbon Trust. The Qatar-UK Clean Technology Investment Fund will begin investing with up to £150m committed from the Qatar Investment Authority alongside the Carbon Trust’s commitment.

Then Brown unveiled an agreement between the UK and Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company Masdar to develop renewable energy and low carbon tech such as wind, carbon capture and storage, solar and marine energy.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband admitted the Gulf’s oil and gas will continue to be a key source of energy for the UK but said:

“As every country tackles the twin challenges of energy security and climate change, both oil producing and oil consuming nations need to diversify our energy economies. Low carbon sources – from wind and solar through wave and tidal to carbon capture and storage – can provide a new engine of global economic growth.”

The investment will clearly be a boon to the burgeoning green and clean tech industry in the UK and Tom Delay, CEO of the Carbon Trust, said:

“This new clean technology fund will put the UK at the heart of low carbon innovation. By investing in home grown companies developing cutting edge low carbon technologies it will enable the UK to benefit commercially from the move to a low carbon economy.”

1 Comment

  • Liz Crosbie
    Posted November 5, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Have I missed something. Seems rather odd that UK plc is very proud of itself for getting Gulf sovereign funds and oil economy money to invest in renewnable energy and cleantech here in the UK. Who will own that investment long-term? Will it be those that invent or those that bring the technology to the global marketplace? It seems that the economic return on our intellectual and physical resources is to be mortgaged long-term to the once oil rich. Have we leant nothing from the 70s when we failed to set up our own sovereign fund deal for North Sea Oil with the oil companies who then went to on make billions extracting UK plc’s resources. The technology under discussion may be sustainable but the business plan clearly isn’t. At least the incoming US president appears to understand that ownership and management of USA’s natural resources could provide both jobs and economic and political security. The current strategy is deeply bankrupt of vision. If we need a collective mortgage could we at least make it a European one – Norway’s sovereign fund spring to mind.

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