Green energy cost hits record high as expensive turbines built at sea

June 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Subsidies paid to energy companies for this kind of large-scale project
reached £2bn, from £1.5bn a year before.

The new figures also reflect the rush by tens of thousands of households to
install solar panels on their roofs at generous subsidy levels before
ministers cut support in March 2012. The bill for this kind of small-scale
subsidy leapt to £500m in 2012-13, from £150m the year before.

Dr John Constable, director of Renewable Energy Foundation, a UK charity that
has long been critical of the costs of the renewables targets, said: “DECC
is subsidising renewables to meet arbitrary and over-ambitious EU targets,
so it was inevitable that we would move rapidly up the cost curve once the
‘cheaper’ opportunities had either been fully developed like landfill gas or
exceeded the limits of public acceptability like onshore wind.”

He added: “Subsidy costs are now spiralling out of control – the annual burn
is about £3bn a year and rising fast. There still is a good case for
experimenting with renewables, but building so much capacity when the whole
sector is still fundamentally uneconomic is bound to end in tears.”

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: “As we move
closer to achieving the government’s renewables target it is inevitable we
will start using more expensive forms of renewable energy such as offshore
wind, which can be deployed at far greater scale than other renewable
technologies. By supporting these technologies now we are driving down their
costs.

“Nonetheless the support levels for each technology are coming down over time
and our analysis suggests household electricity bills will be on average £41
lower per year between 2014-30 compared to meeting the our targets using
current measures.”

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