Scotland slams UK renewable energy subsidy cuts

renewable energy
The UK’s recent cuts to its renewable energy subsidies led to a review by Ernst & Young, who for the first time dropped Britain from its list of the 10 most attractive renewable energy markets

In the UK, Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has criticised the central government for cutting subsidies that support the uptake of renewable energy.

Speaking at a Bloomberg Energy Finance conference, Mr Ewing was reported as saying: “We are extremely disappointed that the UK government since May has decided to embark on what we can only term as an outright onslaught on renewables through removing planned, tried, tested, promised, clear investment commitments.

“That’s no way to continue to attract investors.”

The government plans to phase out renewable subsidies in 10 years.

UK policy change

Stephen Lovegrove, the lead civil servant at the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said that the government is becoming “more discriminating” regarding the type of clean energy technologies it supports.

Bloomberg adds that the new administration under Energy Minister Amber Rudd, has seen cuts implemented to wind, solar and biomass subsidies.

Ms Rudd is also reported to have removed tax exemption from low-carbon power generators, and has cut the government’s primary domestic energy efficiency programme.

Ewing added: “We are at a situation where it is not easy to chart the onward progress of renewables in Scotland.”

The member of the Scottish National Party said: “We have not flip-flopped in the wind as opposed to UK Central government.”

The Scottish National Party is looking to achieve a 100% renewable energy target by 2020, a step up from the 50% target last year.

UK renewable energy evaluation

Contradictory to the UK’s recent subsidy cuts, a recent report by global environmental organisation Greenpeace has said that the UK could generate more than 80% of its electricity from renewable energy, namely – wind, solar and tidal power within the next 15 years.

The study, ‘2030 Energy Scenario Report‘ was compiled following the study of hourly weather data for over 11 years, amid beliefs that switching solely to a renewable power system, would result in unreliable electricity supply.

Scotland’s energy minister Ewing concluded by saying that with the declining costs of onshore wind and solar, “now cheaper than nuclear,” the UK electricity market is expected to lean toward renewables.

He said: “There is a new paradigm, a new narrative … By 2030, renewables will be far less expensive than fossil fuel and nuclear alternatives.”