Ditching green energy targets in favour of gas-fired power plants would save householders around £214 every year.
That’s according to a new report from the Centre for Policy Studies, which claims the costs of renewable energy are “massively understated” and accuses the government of “aiming to hide the full costs” through its policies.
It adds committing the UK to “high-cost and unreliable” renewable energy could be the “most expensive policy disaster in modern British history”.
According to the report, renewables require “massive amounts” of extra generating capacity to provide cover for intermittent generation when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.
The UK has set a target of generating 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, which is expected to cost a staggering £9 billion a year, the report claims.
It states: “Massively subsidised wind and solar capacity floods the market with near random amounts of zero marginal cost electricity. A policy framework to encourage renewables that systematically conceals their true costs will result in higher costs and higher electricity bills for the same quantum of renewable capacity.
“To keep the lights on, everything ends up requiring subsidies, turning what was once a profitable sector into the energy equivalent of the Common Agricultural Policy.”
The report adds the UK would need 22GW of new capacity to replace old coal and nuclear power stations without renewable energy but an extra 50GW is required as a result of renewables.
A spokesperson from DECC said: “The figures in this report don’t add up and ignore the urgent need to cut our carbon emissions. We are making sure we can keep the lights on, cut carbon emissions and keep bills down for consumers.”