Fracking ‘too late’ to help businesses facing rising green energy costs …

January 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Other businesses could decide to leave the UK, or make new investments
elsewhere, in part due to the rising costs, he warned. “The impact of
fracking would be far too late. Energy intensive industries are making
investment decisions now: they can’t wait that long for government to act.”

He said the biggest way ministers could reduce energy costs would be by
reducing or scrapping the UK’s unilateral carbon tax, which will equate for
10pc of manufacturers’ electricity bills by the next election and is due to
rise every year this decade.

He also warned it was unclear that fracking could have any significant impact
on gas prices unless the entire of Europe exploited shale gas.

“It’s important that the government doesn’t overstate that it’s going to drive
down prices,” he said. “It’s very unwise for Cameron and Osborne to be
thinking that it can have the same impact as in the US.”

Tata Steel meanwhile warned that the “competitive gap” between the UK and its
neighbours was growing bigger every year due to green policies, while any
benefit of shale could be “be many years” off.

A spokesman for the company, which employs 18,500 people in the UK said: “Developing
a secure supply of competitively-priced energy is a must for any government
wanting to retain and attract manufacturers. Fracking has had a major impact
in the US, but it could be many years before we start to see any impact on
UK energy prices.”

He said that its energy costs in the UK were already up to 50pc higher than in
Germany and France.

“Last year, we paid £30m more on UK energy taxes, such as the Renewables
Obligation, than our German and French competitors, and that competitive gap
is growing bigger every year.

“If the Government is serious about supporting the UK’s foundation
industries – like steel, chemicals, glass and cement – which employ half a
million people and are responsible for 30pc of the country’s exports, they
must create a level playing field on energy costs.”

The CBI said: “The cost of energy is affecting the competitiveness of our
energy-intensive firms which support jobs and growth. Businesses are keen to
see government action in the Budget, and this has to include looking at the
impact of the Carbon Price Floor.”

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