Renewables and Bills: The Facts April 2016

The threat to the Port Talbot steel works has seen claims that green energy is putting up bills and costing the UK jobs the latest in a long line of such claims. In response we have updated our blog on the facts about subsidies for renewables, impact on energy bills and how this compares with other sources of energy.

BILLS

  • Government energy policy measures are responsible for around 1 per cent of the costs of Port Talbot steel works.Read more. And that’s before the rebate the government pays to energy intensive users (now being replaced by a complete exemption). Read more.
  • In 2014 renewable subsidies were responsible for £45 of the average £1,369 household dual fuel bill (£36 ROCs and FIT). Read more.

SUBSIDIES

  • Globally, according to the International Monetary Fund, the fossil fuel sector receives subsidies of $5.3 trillion a year; more than the total health spending of all the world’s governments. Read more. And the UK is the only G7 country to be increasing them. Read more.
  • Tax cuts in Budget 2016 mean the North Sea oil industry is predicted to be a £1 billion burden for the taxpayer next year. Read more.
  • The annual government grant to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is £2.25 billion. Divide that by 26.3 million households and you find that the average cost of dealing with nuclear waste is £86 per household. Read more.
  • Diesel generation was handed subsides of £175 million in December. Read more.
  • The government agreed in 2015:
    • £92.50 per MWh as a guaranteed price for power generated by Hinkley C new nuclear power station for 35 years (in negotiated deal). Read more.
    • £80 per MWh as a guaranteed price for power from wind and solar projects for 15 years (in a competitive auction). Read more
  • Costs for wind and solar have continued to drop since then. Good Energy recently announced they plan to build a wind farm with no subsidy, making onshore wind the only generation technology that can be built subsidy free.Read more.

Blaming the problems for British steel production on green measures is the latest in a long and dishonourable tradition of scaremongering about the cost of curbing pollution. Those interested can find more in the 2004 WWF report Cry Wolf.

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