Drax, the owner of the country’s biggest single power station, has pulled out of an ambitious plan to build a £1bn prototype plant to capture carbon from a coal-fired power station.
“The decision is based purely on a drastically different financial and regulatory environment and we must put the interests of the business and our shareholders first,” said Drax.
This follows a series of claims that the Governments has back-tracked on its energy strategy with the recent cuts in renewable energy subsidies.
Drax had partnered with Alstom and BOC to build a new power station next to its existing plant which would capture the CO2 and send it via pipeline for burial in an old North Sea oilfield.
Businesses had relied upon Levy Exemption Certificates and the changes to the climate change levy removed crucial financial support for renewable energy producers.
As the largest generator of renewable power in the UK, Drax suddenly lost a significant income stream.
And on a wider scale, where is the carrot if it is more expensive for business to buy electricity from renewable power?
The Government’s primary objective had been to create a sustainable, safe and cost-effective energy system. Surely axing the tax exemption hinders the progress of a low-carbon agenda and jeopardises progress on climate change?
As it the UK’s cheapest low-carbon electricity resource, removing onshore wind farm subsidies makes little sense either. Curbing solar power initiatives, abandoning the Green Deal home energy saving loans scheme and axing plans to make all homes zero carbon by 2016 have further fuelled (pardon the pun) a slump in confidence.
Concentrating on fracking and nuclear power is bad for the economy, politically risky and hinders future investment in UK businesses.
The forthcoming Paris climate talks have been widely regarded as a critical stepping stone to redefine the future of climate change policy. It therefore came as a great surprise to many that Stephen Heidari-Robinson, a fossil fuel industry insider, was appointed last week as the PM’s key adviser on energy and environment.
Whilst UK businesses have shown genuine credibility on climate leadership and low carbon investment, the Government risks sending mixed messages on energy efficiency and renewable power.
During last week’s major climate leadership event in London, hosted by Green Alliance (GA) the environmental think tank, the UK was recognised as being ahead on clean energy policies and moving towards a low carbon economy. This was however qualified with caution with GA’s
Director Matthew Spencer reiterating that “To build on these advantages, the Government needs to clear up the confusion about what it is trying to achieve for the UK energy system, ahead of the Paris conference.”
Article written by Rachel Furniss, Content Manager at www.lawyerfair.co.uk
Final Words: Energy Efficiency And Renewable Power For UK Businesses
We can see how many UK businesses are feeling confused about the government’s message surrounding energy efficiency and renewable power, and it needs to be cleared before the Paris Climate Change conference.
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