Criticism of Government’s renewable policies kicks up a stink

The Government’s renewable energy policies are “unnecessary” and will cost UK households £400 a year by 2020, according to educational think tank Policy Exchange. The report has been met with […]

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By Tom Gibson

The Government’s renewable energy policies are “unnecessary” and will cost UK households £400 a year by 2020, according to educational think tank Policy Exchange. The report has been met with hostility by green groups and DECC, who have questioned the figures and say the think tank is overlooking the many benefits of renewable technologies.

The report, ‘The full cost to households of renewable energy policies’, accuses the Government of misleading the public over the true impacts renewable policies will have.

Simon Less, Head of Environment and Energy at Policy Exchange, “We can go greener, cheaper. Unnecessarily expensive policies which put additional strain on squeezed household budgets will not help win the sustained public support needed to address climate change.”

However, DECC say there are a number of flaws in the Policy Exchange analysis.

A DECC spokesman said: “£400 is wrong, it is not a credible figure. The report overestimates costs while ignoring key benefits of policies. Our policies are aimed at keeping the lights on and bills down, boosting energy efficiency and helping get us off the hook of relying on imported oil and gas by creating a greener, cleaner and ultimately cheaper mix of electricity sources right here in the UK.

“We have published a full breakdown of the impacts, which shows that when you take both costs and benefits into account, by 2020 energy and climate change policies will have a net effect of reducing the average domestic dual fuel bill by 7% (£94), compared to a scenario where we didn’t implement our energy and climate change policies.”

But the Policy Exchange report argues Government is choosing technologies that deliver poor value for money, which have little impact on reducing carbon emissions . It also argues the Renewable Energy Target should be scrapped.