Energy bosses head to Downing Street for North Sea investment summit


LEADERS of the UK’s energy industry will meet in Downing Street today to discuss their plans to collectively invest more than £100billion.

Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps is seeing companies, including EDF, SSE, Shell and BP, who have major plans to invest in low and zero-carbon projects. 

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Mr Shapps will also outline Government measures to protect UK energy supplies from disruption. 

He will talk about decisions to invest in home-grown energy sources – including renewables, a revival in nuclear power,and backing North Sea oil and gas.

And the Energy Security Secretary is to highlight moves to protect critical energy infrastructure from disruptive protests. 

This follows in the wake of protests such as those at the Kingsbury and Thurrock clusters of oil terminals and Grangemouth refinery.

Criminal offence

The Public Order Act now includes a new criminal offence of interfering with key national infrastructure – including oil refineries – aimed at preventing protests from causing or threatening public safety or serious disruption. 

It particularly addresses tactics that these protesters have used such as “locking on” and tunnelling.

Mr Shapps said: “We need to send the message loud and clear to the likes of Putin that we will never again be held to ransom with energy supply. The companies I am meeting in Downing Street today will be at the heart of that.

“Energy industry leaders can see that this government will back home-grown, secure energy – whether that’s renewables, our revival in nuclear, or our support for our vital oil and gas industry in the North Sea.

“But it is a sad reality that we also need to protect our critical national infrastructure from disruptive protests.”

Meanwhile, red paint has been thrown over the entrance to Holyrood by climate protestors in response to new North Sea licences being granted.

Climate activist group This is Rigged has taken responsibility for the demonstration, which they say is in protest of “political failure” to oppose all new oil and gas.

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