Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Davey defends funding for 'good value' wind farms

When asked on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show if onshore wind turbines provided value for money, Davey replied: "Absolutely. They only get paid when they are generating electricity."His comments come amid an escalating row over the effect of so-called 'green levies' on energy bills. Utility SSE last week announced it was increasing prices for customers by 8.2 per cent, blaming renewable energy subsidies for a significant part of the rise and calling for a review of the government's current strategy.Several senior Conservatives, worried by Labour leader Ed Miliband's pledge to freeze energy bills from 2015 should he win the next election, are understood to be pushing for a cut to the levies, with green energy subsidies such as the Renewables Obligation and Feed-in Tariff, as well as the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) domestic energy efficiency scheme, thought to be in the firing line.However, Davey insisted recent energy price rises have far more to do with the wholesale price of gas on international markets than any of these programmes."The gas price has gone up by 50 per cent over the last five years and more than 50 per cent of the bill is wholesale gas price," he said. "We have also seen a big increase in the network costs because we have got to replace the ageing network. These are costs that are impossible to avoid."And he went on to reject calls for cuts in green levies, saying it would be "silly" to remove programmes that help to cut bills by making homes more energy efficient.Arizona Residents Can Now Get Solar Power After Dark
"People have got to understand what these green taxes actually are," he said. "Most of them are actually social policies to help the fuel-poor manage their bills. I don't think we want to get rid of those. Moreover, we need to help people who aren't necessarily fuel-poor but want to do energy efficiency measures to reduce their bills. It would be silly to get rid of that aspect. If you actually look at the part of the so-called green taxes that are funding renewable energy/low-carbon energies, it's only four per cent of the bill."Even if Davey did want to cut ECO, he would be constrained by the government's promise to eradicate fuel poverty by 2016. The government's independent advisers, the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group, have also warned that should the government bow to industry demands to delay energy efficiency commitments by two years it could face a judicial review.Former Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne also intervened in the on-going row over the cost of green policies, arguing that the one 'green tax' to be introduced in recent years was imposed by Chancellor George Osborne in the form of the Carbon Floor Price – a measure that he argued was primarily designed to raise revenue for the Treasury.Davey also revealed the government is close to sealing a deal with French company EDF to build the UK's first nuclear reactor in a generation. An agreement is expected to be announced this week confirming EDF will be paid between £90 and £92 per megawatt hour for the power produced at the Hinkley C reactor in Somerset for 35 years, probably starting from 2023.

No comments:

Post a Comment