The Transition to a Net Zero Society Also Important for Engaging the National Economy and Creating New Jobs

London, 24 November 2023 – Innovative financing models such as the Contract for Difference and Regulatory Asset Base were beside governance and domestic supply chain organisation among the topics of the conference "Transitioning to a Carbon-Free Future: Opportunities and Financing”, organised by the British-Slovenian Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with Bloomberg, held at Bloomberg's headquarters in London. The event brought together government representatives, state-owned and private companies from Slovenia and the UK, to facilitate discussions on the UK's best practice in financing the transition to a net zero future.

The delegation from Slovenia, a country that is currently a net importer of electricity, showcased ambitious plans to finance its transition to net zero energy systems. The estimated cost for this transition by 2031 is estimated at €28 billion. Acknowledging the transition as a catalyst for economic growth, job creation, and sustainable development, the delegation explored the UK's approach to financing net zero projects, with a keen focus on identifying and adopting best practices.

During the discussion, delegates gained an insight into the UK investment landscape and gained valuable insights into the appetite and experience of UK investment funds in Central and Eastern Europe with regard to renewable and nuclear energy projects. At the same time, they learned key lessons from the construction processes of UK nuclear power stations, including Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C in England. It is worth noting that each of these projects contributes to an annual reduction of 9 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Hinkley Point C, the only nuclear power plant currently under construction in Western Europe, and its sister Sizewell C, in the financial closure phase, stand as key precedent points. These projects have set a positive precedent by generating 19,160 jobs directly at Hinkley Point C, representing 64% of all construction work undertaken by local companies, and 70% in Sizewell C. This signifies a strong commitment to fostering local businesses and driving national economic growth.

Nevertheless, one of the main points of the discussion was the exploration of different innovative financing models. This included an overview of the Contract for Difference used in the financing of Hinkley Point C and the Regulatory Asset Base used in the financing of Sizewell C. In addition, an insight into the opportunities offered by UK Export Finance, the UK Government's export credit agency, was also presented. These discussions provided valuable guidance for Slovenia's path towards achieving a net zero future.

The conference was attended by the following Slovenian representatives: Minister of Finance Klemen Boštjančič, State Secretary for the National Nuclear Programme at the Office of the Prime Minister Danijel Levičar, CEO of Holding Slovenske elektrarne Tomaž Štokelj, CEO of GEN Energija Dejan Paravan, Head of the Ljubljana Office of the European Investment Bank Simon Savšek, Member of the Management Board of SID Bank Stanka Šarc Majdič, Partner at Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik and Partners Robert Prelesnik, President of the British-Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Partner at ION Advisory Luka Vesnaver, Director at E&A Law Ana Stanič, President of the Management Board of Modra Zavarovalnica Matej Golob Matzele, ESG Novo Dejan Spasovski, and Partner at the Institute for Strategic Solutions Jure Stojan.

On the UK side, government representatives from the Department for Energy, Security and Net Zero, and UK Export Finance were present. Additionally, participants included representatives from UK investment funds, Rolls Royce SMR, Allen & Overy, along with a representative from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Pictures from the conference are available here.