MPs slam renewable energy cuts in letter to Energy Secretary

The Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee has warned the UK will not hit international carbon reduction targets, following Government cuts to subsidies.

In a letter to Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, Angus MacNeil said it was “regrettable that the Government is further cutting support” for renewable energy, just a week after the Paris agreement on climate change.

“Perhaps of greatest concern is the fact that, according to the Department’s calculations, between 9,700 and 18,700 jobs are now at risk as a result of your changes to the Feed-In-Tariff,” writes Mr MacNeil.

“Furthermore, by pressing ahead with the early closure of the Renewables Obligation and the removal of grandfathering, the Government has been extraordinarily brave in the face of strong opposition from the industry and concerns raised by the renewable energy sector.

“The most alarming issue is the damage to investor confidence in the renewable energy sector, resulting from a sudden and unpredicted series of announcements, combined with what have been perceived as a rushed consultation process.”

Mr MacNeil quoted the EY Renewable Energy Investment Attractiveness Index, which was published in September, and warned the UK renewables sector was being sentenced to “death by a thousand cuts”.

“You have spoken on numerous occasions about the importance of keeping costs down for consumers,” said Mr MacNeil.

“However, costs incurred now are investments for the future and the impact of current policy changes on consumer bills over the longer-period must also be considered.”

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