Library filed under Impact on Economy from UK
The so-called “green jobs” boom in renewable energy has not lived up to the hype. As government policy flip-flops in favour of one form of energy to another – one minute offshore wind, the next minute, fracking – investors are losing faith.
‘This is essentially both a hidden subsidy to renewables and a subsidy from English and Welsh energy customers to help pay for Scottish energy infrastructure,’ said an energy industry source. The changes are intended to ensure that the Government hits its legally binding target of halving carbon emissions by 2025 based on 1990 levels.
The coalition government led by Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to review the country's energy market, including the rolling back of renewable—energy subsidies, as popular discontent about rising household energy bills has grown.
Scottish consumers will pay more for energy under regulatory reforms designed to help wind farms in the countryside, according to a recent report by global consulting firm National Economic Research Associates (NERA).
Consumers face higher energy bills under Ofgem changes designed to help encourage wind farms in Scotland, experts have warned. The planned overhaul of network charges will slash costs for Scottish wind farm developers by £1.3m a year but increase costs for southern power plants.
National Grid hands wind farm companies around £1.2 million on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day alone to switch off their turbines as tens of thousands of homes were left without power
Consumers are less willing to foot the whole bill for policies to mitigate global warming. The shift in the debate is most conspicuous in Germany, where the Energiewende – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s historic drive wind and solar – has left German consumers with among the highest prices for electricity in Europe. The German environment ministry says the total cost of the Energiewende could reach about €1tn.
The battle is being fought not just in this village but across the whole of Britain. There has been a surge in such projects in recent times as companies rush to take advantage of lucrative consumer subsidies, as the Government strives to ensure that 15 per cent of Britain’s energy needs are met from renewable sources by 2020. Last year, wind turbine owners received help amounting to £1.2 billion.
The chief executive of the energy giant Scottish & Southern Energy said on Thursday night it was time for a national debate about the country’s green agenda after unveiling an 8.2 per cent price rise for customers. ...Gillian Guy, the chief executive of Citizens Advice, added: “This price rise will be a blow for stretched budgets. The hike comes at a time when some working households are turning to food banks to feed their families as they struggle to cope with the rising cost of living.
On wind farms – seen by many as an expensive blight on the countryside, subsidised by the taxpayer to burnish the image of politicians who live nowhere near them – the PM is equally diplomatic. “Recently, I opened the London Array and it’s good that Britain is leading the way in this technology. But as I say, you shouldn’t keep the subsidies for any longer than is necessary.”
"There is no evidence that I have seen that suggests that wind farms will ever provide the reliable, controllable energy that is required by our society, however many there might be. It is a basic Christian truth that we all have a duty and a responsibility to care for and exercise wise stewardship over God's creation, which has been entrusted to us.
The Daily Telegraph last month disclosed that Mr Paterson, the Environment Secretary, had compiled a study about how turbines impact the rural economy. ...As a result of the intervention by Mr Davey, the study will now look at the impact of all renewable energy sources on the rural economy, including fracking.
The Middleton Burn Action Group, fighting planned wind farms near Belford, conducted a survey for the second year in a row asking tourists whether those proposed turbines would impact on their likelihood of returning. Whereas last year 64% of respondents said turbines would adversely effect their choice of North Northumberland as a holiday destination, that figure increased to 76.9% in 2013.
The cottage was valued at £130,000, but after two years she was still unable to find a buyer. In June, when a woman withdrew an offer, she received an email explaining the decision, which reads: "Having spoken to Planning again, re the wind turbines, as 475 metres from the house is close, they have confirmed there will be a ‘whooshing' noise and flicker. ...My solicitor has contacted me this morning and said best avoid it and look for somewhere else."
Impact assessments carried out by the wind park developer state that up to a third of all visitors could be deterred from holidaying in the area during the three year construction phase. And once the wind farm is built and in operation, 14 per cent of visitors say the loss of view would prevent them from returning.
Ministers are pushing an Energy Bill through Parliament that will introduce billions of pounds of long-term subsidies for low-carbon power sources such as wind farms and nuclear reactors. But the green technologies are not commercially viable to build without the subsidies, which will be paid for through levies on energy consumers' bills.
The Daily Telegraph has learnt a new Government row over wind farms is blocking a report that could provide official confirmation that the controversial turbines can harm rural areas. ...Chris Heaton-Harris, the Conservative MP for Daventry, said: "There is growing concern over the level of property blight that wind turbines cause. "These are the experts in the industry and they should be listened to."
Sir Donald Miller, former chairman of both the South of Scotland Electricity Board and of ScottishPower, has described the SNP's current energy policy on producing 100 per cent of Scotland's needs from renewables as "disastrous".
Because the Centrica turbines off the coast of Skegness are made in Denmark, workers from the region are being flown in daily to work on them. The demand has meant that Scandinavian Airlines will begin a six day a week service between Copenhagen and Humberside Airport in October.
Ministers were last night criticised for funding billions of pounds-worth of green schemes and climate change programmes through levies on household gas and electricity bills rather than recouping the money directly from taxpayers. The Government's own estimates are that its policies will add 33pc to the average electricity price paid by households in 2020.