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martedì 30 agosto 2016


Cheap and green energy ‘golden age’ under threat from Government tinkering, industry warns | Environment | The Independent

Solar panels have been driving down prices by supplying power when people need it most Getty – Cheap and green energy ‘golden age’ under threat from Government tinkering, industry warns. Repeated changes by Whitehall are driving away investors at the dawn of a new era in electricity generation that could drive down prices and cut greenhouse gas emissions   –  
The prospect of a ‘golden age’ of cheap and green energy is being put at risk by constant Government tinkering that is driving away investors, the industry has warned.
In an interview with The Independent, Lawrence Slade, the chief executive of Energy UK, highlighted 10 different changes over the past year or so that he said were undermining confidence in the sector.
He urged the new Business Secretary, Greg Clark, to put an end to the repeated and sometimes sudden alterations and develop a long-term plan that would let investors know what kind of return they could expect on their money.
Failure to do that, Mr Slade said, would see them go elsewhere and that could lead to higher prices for consumers and hamper Britain’s ability to meet targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Renewable Energy Association (REA), the other main industry body, said it had a list of 15 “negative” changes made recently by the Government.
The renewable energy sector has been particularly hard hit with the UK dropping out of the top 10 best countries to invest in green energy. The US was first on the latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index, followed by China, India and Germany with Britain in 11th behind Chile.
Earlier this year the Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee said “sudden and numerous policy announcements” had damaged the UK’s reputation as a “stable and predictable” place to do business, and noted that investment had “collapsed” in some countries.
This warning appears not to have been heeded.
Mr Slade decided to speak out after the Government cut a renewable energy subsidy this summer – potentially affecting £140m of investment – with just six weeks’ notice.
“We have seen quite a lot of changes since the current Government came into power an awful long time ago – in May last year,” he said.
“All of this makes investors question just how secure their investment is and make them look at other markets. We’ve got this background and then Brexit comes along, which just casts another set of uncertainty into the equation.
“We need that long-term clear plan [from the Government], so that people can actually plan, invest and see a return, and we get a steady build-up of lower carbon technology.”
He doubted the lights would go off, but warned consumers might face higher bills. “We might throw money at it to make sure we keep things going,” he said.
Energy UK, which represents Britain’s largest energy companies, provided a list of recent changes made by the Government.
These included: changes to planning law to allow new windfarms to be blocked; the cancellation of a £1bn competition to design an effective carbon-capture-and-storage system; the phasing out of “unabated coal” by 2025; and the removal of the exemption from the climate change levy for renewable generators.
The postponement of the second round of allocations of new energy contracts; Renewables Obligation support for photovoltaic solar panels and onshore wind closed early; cuts affecting most technologies under the feed-in tarrif; the ongoing review of the embedded charging benefits; and a cut affecting biomass conversion projects were also highlighted by the industry body.
There is also fresh doubt over whether the UK will commission a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset.
Design inspired by renewable energies presented at Saloni –  2 show all

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