“We will be tough on subsidies” promises Rudd

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has defended the Government’s track record on renewable energy.

Speaking at the Conservative Party annual conference in Manchester, Ms Rudd said she supports cutting subsidies “not because I am an anti-green Conservative, but because I am a proud green Conservative, on the side of the consumer”.

The Government has faced repeated criticism from the renewable industry sector since announcing a series of cuts and proposed cuts, including the early end of the Renewables Obligation and the reduction of the Feed-In-Tariff.

But Ms Rudd told delegates that “there is no magic money tree”.

“As we have already shown, we will be tough on subsidies,” said Ms Rudd. “We said in our manifesto that we would halt the spread of subsidised onshore windfarms. This would have been impossible in the Coalition. And six weeks into this Parliament, that’s what we did.”

“Some have characterised these changes as motivated by ideological opposition to anything green. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our approach is very different to the hapless UKIP candidate who asked ‘But what happens when the renewables run out?’

“An average of £7 billion has been invested each year in UK based renewable electricity since 2010,” added the Energy Secretary.

“By 2020 we expect to get 30% of our power from renewable sources. We have solar panels on three quarters of a million roofs. With solar costs continuing to fall and new innovations in battery storage, renewable energy can stand on its own two feet.” 

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues