The Government’s energy policy came under fire today with the release of new research that suggests subsidising renewable energy could put the country’s energy security in “jeopardy”.
The report from leading think-tank Adam Smith Institute, called ‘Renewable Energy: Vision or Mirage’, claims that renewable sources like solar power and wind “cannot form more than a minor part of the overall mix without putting the security of supply at jeopardy.”
The report takes a sweeping jibe at subsidies for renewables: “Governments are currently indulging in the dubious practice of providing guaranteed, long-term subsidies to technologies which have little hope of becoming truly competitive for the foreseeable future.”
Instead, it suggests “taxpayers’ money would be far better spent on measures to increase energy efficiency, plus investment in proven nuclear and gas generating capacity.”
Renewable energy sources are touted by government as key to hitting legally binding targets to slash emissions and are expected to pick up the burden of 15% of UK energy consumption by 2020.
The ASI findings chime with recent research by the Renewable Energy Foundation which suggests that UK policy could add £15billion to consumer costs, a figure DECC disputes.
Predictably, pro-renewable groups were outraged by the ASI report. Gaynor Hartnell of the Renewable Energy Association claimed it was “riddled with prejudice and luddite assumptions.”
Mrs Hartnell, REA’s chief executive said: “It’s more secure to rely on sources like the wind, waves, tides and sun, that deliver themselves to the power station, than sit at the end of a long pipeline on the periphery of Europe hoping that there’ll be as much cheap gas as we need.”