Bri­tain loses top en­ergy rat­ing af­ter green pol­icy U-turns

WEC says UK needs to be more trans­par­ent

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

LON­DON: Bri­tain has lost its top-notch en­ergy pol­icy rat­ing from the U.N.-ac­cred­ited World En­ergy Coun­cil af­ter the gov­ern­ment pre­ma­turely cut some re­new­able en­ergy sub­si­dies, cre­at­ing un­cer­tainty about how it will ad­dress sup­port in fu­ture. The World En­ergy Coun­cil has down­graded Bri­tain to an AAB rat­ing, from AAA, in its an­nual “en­ergy trilemma in­dex”, which ranks coun­tries’ en­ergy and cli­mate poli­cies based on the is­sues of en­ergy se­cu­rity, eq­uity and sus­tain­abil­ity. The down­grade re­flects the dam­age the sub­sidy cuts have caused to Bri­tain’s rep­u­ta­tion as an at­trac­tive re­new­able en­ergy mar­ket.

Ear­lier this year Bri­tain scrapped sub­si­dies for on­shore wind farms, closed sup­port for small-scale so­lar projects and changed the way other re­new­able en­ergy projects qual­ify for pay­ments, say­ing they were be­com­ing too costly for tax­pay­ers. “The UK gov­ern­ment must give more pre­dictabil­ity to in­vestors in the way the elec­tric­ity mar­ket re­forms are pro­gressed,” said Joan MacNaughton, ex­ec­u­tive chair of the World En­ergy Trilemma study.

Bri­tain re­wards low-car­bon en­ergy projects, such as wind farms, through a con­tracts-for-dif­fer­ence mech­a­nism that pre­de­ter­mines a min­i­mum price for elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated. “More trans­parency is needed about the fu­ture ap­proach to con­tracts for dif­fer­ence and the levy con­trol frame­work,” MacNaughton said. The levy con­trol frame­work helps de­ter­mine the gov­ern­ment’s bud­get to al­lo­cate sub­si­dies to low-car­bon en­ergy projects. The changes in gov­ern­ment sup­port for re­new­able en­ergy have al­ready cost hun­dreds of jobs in Bri­tain and the prospect of lower re­turns is ex­pected to scare off re­new­able en­ergy in­vestors. —Reuters

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