Dale Vince: Scrap subsidies for nuclear and fossil fuels to create level playing field.
As RenewableUK’s State of the Industry report is released today, Britain’s leading green energy company Ecotricity has challenged the Government to scrap subsidies for nuclear power and fossil fuels to create a level playing field after it slashes support for renewable energy.
RenewableUK’s State of the Industry report, found the industry had enjoyed incredible recent success with 25% of the UK’s electricity now generated from renewable sources.
Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said: “RenewableUK’s State of the Industry report makes clear just how far the renewable energy industry has come and how important it is to our country.
“In the second quarter of this year renewable energy, for the first time, provided more power to Britain than the nuclear and coal industries, a record 25%. And it has done so with a fraction of the subsidies that the fossil and nuclear industries have had and continue to have.
“The International Monetary Fund reported earlier this year that subsidies to the fossil industries in Britain amount to £30 billion each year – or over £1,000 per household per year.
“In contrast, support for all renewable energy amounted to £2.6 billion last year – about £100 per household per year – with onshore wind, which is the main focus of Government attacks, adding just £10 to household energy bills.
“Unfortunately our Government appear ideologically opposed to renewable energy and have moved to put a stop to this incredible success story. Not just cutting all support and increasing planning hurdles, but even going so far as to make renewable energy pay the Climate Change Levy, which is (or was) a tax on fossil fuels to fund climate change measures. Renewable energy in Britain now effectively subsidies the fossil fuel industry – to the tune of £1 billion every year.
“Vast sums are spent to support the nuclear and fossil industries, just last week George Osbourne announced a extra £2 billion sweetener to encourage the Chinese to build the new nuclear power station at Hinckley (state ownership by a foreign power).
“Nuclear energy will be paid twice the market price for power – for the next 35 years and then we’ll have to clean up the mess left behind, which already amounts to £120 billion for the current fleet of nuclear being decommissioned.
“Renewable energy receives one tenth of the support that fossil fuels do, yet powers 25% of the country. And Government says only renewable energy has to stand on it’s own two feet. It makes no economic sense.
“Britain is blessed with enough renewable energy to power our entire country several times over, safely, without pollution and at the lowest cost of all energy sources.
“If there was a level playing field in Britain, renewable energy would win hands down. But the market is being rigged by the Government.”
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