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London scrubs some renewable subsidies
by Daniel J. Graeber
London (UPI) Jul 22, 2015


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

The British government said Wednesday it was scaling back subsidies for some renewable energy projects in an effort to keep consumer bills under control.

The government last month announced plans to end public subsidies for new onshore wind farms starting in April 2016. Last year, the $1.2 billion in government support helped onshore wind power generate 5 percent of total British electricity and bring the region closer to its climate change goals.

Measures announced Wednesday included the removal of guaranteed subsidies for biomass projects and solar projects designed to generate less than 5 megawatts of power.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd said keeping consumer bills low through the removal of subsidies was one of her top priorities.

"The measures set out today will provide better control over spending and ensure bill payers get the best possible deal as we continue to move to a low-carbon economy," she said in a statement.

Government energy policies were criticized by advocates for more renewable energy in early July when a new budget statement included tax breaks for North Sea oil and gas operators. British Friends of the Earth said the trajectory was "appalling."

Operating expenses in the North Sea are up 8 percent while revenues for oil companies working in the region are at their lowest levels since 1998.

Rudd in her statement said the costs for renewable energy projects were down "significantly" thanks in part to government support. As a result, the green industry has a better chance to survive without subsidies.

The British Department of Energy and Climate Change said electricity produced from wind and hydro sources rose by 17.9 percent during the three months ending in January, a record.


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