Cut subsidy and focus on innovation says expert

European emissions targets are well beyond our reach and subsidies for renewable technologies are hindering the development of the sector. These were the words of Dr John Constable of the […]

Register now!

By Tom Gibson

European emissions targets are well beyond our reach and subsidies for renewable technologies are hindering the development of the sector. These were the words of Dr John Constable of the Renewable Energy Foundation.

Of the targets, the Director of Policy and Research said: “We haven’t met them. We’re not going to meet them. They were imposed by politicians, they weren’t worked out by engineers. Think about it, the EU policies are 20-20 by 2020. That is not an engineer’s target.”

The cuts relate to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20% from 1990 levels and increasing energy from renewable sources to 20% of all energy.

Speaking at the inaugural Energy Show in Coventry, The REF Director said he was worried subsidy was degrading innovation: “What we’re seeing here is arbitrary targets for quantities driven in by subsidy at a very high cost to the consumer. What we really want is technological improvement in the alternative energy sector. The worry is that subsidy is rewarding inadequacy.”

Mr Constable added that it was difficult for technology firms to make business plans due to the state of the market: “There is not enough transparency in the UK energy markets. Many of the costs imposed on the consumer aren’t transparent to the market.”