The Tory policy of opposing new subsidies for clean power projects until 2025 at the earliest risks the progress that the renewable energy sector has been making in recent years. With Scotland uniquely positioned to benefit from green energy, this opposition to renewables is set to hit Scotland hardest.
This keynote policy – announced in the Budget – has caused deep concern in the renewable energy sector.
SNP Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Patricia Gibson MP commented:
“Barely a day goes by without Tory energy and environment policy being called into question. Just this week MPs on the Westminster parliament’s Public Accounts committee excoriated the UK Government for ignoring the consumer interest in ordering a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point which will hit consumers in the pocket. Leading industry voices have questioned the economic sense in building new nuclear power stations, while and environmental groups have criticised a budget which turned its back on renewables.
“Consumers are locked into an expensive deal lasting 35 years. The UK Government did not revisit the terms between the original decision to go ahead and now, despite estimated costs to the consumer having risen five-fold during that time.
“Over the life of the contract, consumers will be left footing the bill and the poorest consumers will be hit hardest. Yet in all the negotiations, no part of the UK Government has championed the consumer interest. As the financial case for Hinkley has weakened, the UK Government has talked up the boost to jobs and skills that Hinkley will generate while it has no clear plan of how these so-called wider benefits will be achieved, or crucially how it will measure success.
“The recent struggles at BiFab remind us all that the renewables sector brings highly skilled industrial jobs to Scotland and we are uniquely placed to benefit from the green energy industry for years to come not just because of our natural resources, but the skills of our workforce too.
“Sadly, Tory plans on renewable energy lack vision for the future, threatening jobs and investment, forcing higher bills for consumers and holding back progress on climate change.”
Hans Bunting, chief operating officer of Innogy Renewables, part of the company that owns the UK energy supplier N-Power, said that new nuclear power stations in the UK ‘can no longer compete with windfarms’ on price.
Innogy will deliver electricity at £74.75 per megawatt hour of power from the windfarm they will build off the Lincolnshire coast, which is £17.75 cheaper than Hinkley and should be completed three years earlier.