Government admits renewables cut will add 63 million tonnes more CO2

by Search Gate staff. Published Fri 11 Sep 2016 14:03, Last updated: 2016-09-11
Energy Ministers reveal subsidy axe will save just 30p-a-year on energy bills
Energy Ministers reveal subsidy axe will save just 30p-a-year on energy bills

The UK Government has admitted that the early closure of subsidy support for onshore wind energy could add as much as 63 million tonnes of CO2 in emissions and save just 30p on consumers’ annual electricity bill.

Energy Ministers have finally published an Impact Assessment on its plans to cut the Renewables Obligation to onshore wind, a policy which will have a disproportionate impact on Scotland.

Published as part of a package of documents for the new Energy Bill, the Impact Assessment counts the costs and benefits of the early closure of the Renewables Obligation, despite Government still not having published the grace periods for projects that should fall out with the scope of this policy.

The Impact Assessment shows that:

• Lifetime CO2 emissions could be up to 63MtCO2e higher than they would otherwise have been

• Under the central estimate, total lost benefit to communities would be around £1m a year

• Under the central estimate, there would be around a £0.30 (0.05%) reduction on the average annual household electricity bill

Michael Rieley, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “We have consistently argued that this policy can only hinder the UK’s efforts to meet binding climate change targets, and the government has now admitted their decision could increase the UK’s carbon emissions by 63 million tonnes.

“The decision to close support for onshore wind has caused a ripple effect of uncertainty throughout the renewables industry, removes one million pounds a year from local communities and may only end up saving 30 pence on the annual household electricity bill.”

Rieley added: “What we need now is for the UK Government to set out fair and reasonable grace periods as soon as possible for those projects that will fall out with the scope of this decision.”

Dr Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, added: “These figures show that the UK Government’s ideological crusade against windfarms will increase carbon emissions by considerably more than Scotland’s annual total emissions and cost communities a million pounds in lost payments, all to cut just 30p off consumers’ bills. It is hard to see how the UK will avoid the dunce's corner at the UN climate conference in Paris in December.

"With their nuclear plans falling apart and fracking going nowhere the UK Government is going to have to change its mind and back renewables in a big way if are going to have an affordable and reliable supply of power across the UK in the coming decades.”



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