Articles filed under Taxes & Subsidies from UK
After conducting technical studies, the energy department proposed a subsidy cut of 10% for power from onshore wind. But the chancellor is under pressure from back-benchers to scrap subsidies, and is said to favour a 25% cut. The industry body, Renewable UK, says it may take legal action if the government makes a decision that overrides its own technical evidence.
Wind industry trade body RenewableUK has called on Britain's government not to close off the option of extending the current Renewables Obligation support scheme beyond 2017, fearing delays in the transition to the proposed Contracts for Difference (CFD) mechanism that will replace it.
The Observer has learned that George Osborne is demanding cuts of 25% in subsidies, a reduction the industry says would "kill dead" the development of wind power sites. The Treasury's stance has put the chancellor at loggerheads with the Liberal Democrat energy secretary Ed Davey, whose party strongly supports more renewable energy.
Official projections suggest that much of the floor price charge to UK companies will actually be paid by consumers as firms recoup their costs through higher bills. The Treasury has estimated the floor price will raise £1.4 billion by 2015-16.
"We're cutting the subsidy to onshore wind because I think it has been over-subsidised and wasteful of public money," he said during weekly Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons. "The second thing we're doing is the Localism Act will give local communities a greater say over issues like wind turbines".
Some of the world's biggest wind companies, who are considering expanding their business in Britain, say they are reviewing their investments due to a growing backlash against the technology.
The attractions of the "anti-wind" letter are emphasised by the apparent difficulty in organising a counter-demonstration of support. Heaton-Harris took just three days to collect his signatures; weeks later, nobody has got an equal number of MPs to sign support for onshore wind - although a group of pro-renewable interests is mustering backing from more predictable interests, including renewable companies and environmental campaigners.
"The government's own data shows that in spite of its unpopularity the wind industry is in fact having an easy time in planning, with the vast majority of schemes being forced on unwilling local populations. "Very high subsidy levels have resulted in an overheated market and a rush of development that is inappropriate and environmentally damaging, as well as being extremely expensive for the consumer."
The REF claimed the figures showed that the price of the constraint payments was often many times more than the loss in subsidy payments for wind farms, which are withdrawn for the period when they are taken off the grid, "suggesting that the market is not functioning in the consumer interest".
Wind farms are receiving millions of pounds to shut down when the weather is too windy, The Times has learnt. Dozens of onshore facilities shared £25 million last year, a 13,733 per cent increase on 2010, after a particularly blustery year, according to the figures released by National Grid.
But consultancy PwC argued that the deep fast cuts proposed by the government were better than the risk of a bubble which would lead to over capacity in the short-term, followed by cuts later, which would mean sharper job losses. "A deep and fast cut in Fits will be required to protect the UK solar industry from stalling or creating a market bubble.
Scottishpower is planning to pull the plug on more than 1,000 onshore wind turbines if the Westminster government cuts millions of pounds of subsidy from the industry. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has launched a review of taxpayer-funded subsidies that is expected to lead to the payments being switched to giant offshore wind farms.
An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph reveals how generous subsidies - that are added to consumer energy bills - are encouraging hereditary landowners to build turbines up to 410ft tall on their land. With controversy over onshore wind farms growing, the role of the landed establishment in fuelling the 'scramble for wind' will alarm opponents.
But the IPPR, a centre-left think-tank, says that householders, many of whom are already struggling to pay their fuel bills, will also suffer. It estimates that 30,000 to 60,000 more households will be pushed into fuel poverty - defined as spending more than 10 per cent of your disposable income on heat and light.
Ironically, key parts for wind turbines are produced by industries that require a great deal of energy during manufacturing, such as cement-makers and steel-makers. These heavy industries are being increasingly taxed.
Plans to pay communities to erect wind turbines are already in doubt because of increasing chaos caused by the Government's review of green subsidies.
A far more significant omission from the media reports, however, was any mention of the colossal subsidies this wind farm will earn. Wind energy is subsidised through the system of Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs), unwittingly paid for by all of us through our electricity bills. Our electricity supply companies are obliged to buy offfshore wind energy at three times its normal price, so that each kilowatt hour of electricity receives a 200 per cent subsidy of £100.
Energy secretary Chris Huhne has admitted he is concerned about the financing of major wind farms, as the UK aims to get a third of its energy from renewables.
One of the best-kept secrets of British politics - although it is there for all to see on a Government website - is the cost of what is by far the most expensive piece of legislation ever put through Parliament. Every year between now and 2050, acccording to Ed Miliband's Department for Energy and Climate Change (Decc), the Climate Change Act is to cost us all up to £18.3 billion - £760 for every household in the country - as we reduce our carbon emissions by 80 per cent.
Britain's energy policy faces new controversy as it can be revealed that electricity customers are paying more than £1 billion a year to subsidise windfarms and other forms of renewable energy. ...It means that renewable energy added an an estimated £13.50 to the average household electricity bill last year. An additional burden fell on industrial users of electricity, who in turn passed on costs to their customers.