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Investors still willing to back energy schemes, says financial thinktank boss

Investment firms are willing to put their money into energy projects and technologies despite the economic downturn, but the areas they find more favourable might surprise UK engineers, the boss of a City think tank said today. Watch an exclusive interview with NCE here.

Speaking at Civils 2008, Zyen Group executive chairman Michael Mainelli said that investors recognise that now is a crucial time to be investing in the energy sector, but wish to spread their risk across a range of technologies.

“In the city we have a portfolio approach to life,” said Mainelli.

“You are betting on the market, betting on these technologies, and only an idiot backs one technology as the winner.”

But Mainelli added that of all the renewable technologies, solar power was actually proving most popular with City investors.

He also added that despite the promise of growth in the UK’s nuclear industry through the construction of new plants, investment funds were cautious given the industry’s previous failings and uncooperative approach.

“Investment is based on trust, and over the years with nuclear that trust has eroded,” said Mainelli.

“As well as nationalisation, the nuclear industry has been very secretive and failed to share information on its efficiency and performance. It has a lot of problems to tackle if it is to be attractive to investors.”

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