Cutting subsidies will badly damage the renewables market

By Rick Pendrous contact

- Last updated on GMT

Cutting subsides for anaerobic digestion will be damaging, warns the ADBA
Cutting subsides for anaerobic digestion will be damaging, warns the ADBA

Related tags: Renewable energy

The government’s recent decision to cut subsidies for biomass, anaerobic digestion and biogas, as well as solar and wind, will damage the development of the renewable energy market in the UK, warn experts in the sector.

It will also hit energy security and increase bills, said Estelle Brachlianoff, senior executive vice-president, UK & Ireland, for resource management company Veolia.

“With COP21 ​[the United Nations conference on climate change] on the horizon we must be looking at how we can help reduce emissions, fight climate change and find alternative ways to power the UK,”​ she said.

‘Illogical’

“This means moving away from our reliance on fossil fuels and continuing to invest in renewables.

“What I don’t understand is why the government would apply the carbon levy on renewable energy plants which are carbon-positive – it’s illogical.

“Even worse it removes the business case for existing renewable energy plants that were predicated on the investment avoiding carbon tax until 2023.”

Vital for success

Responding to the government’s consultation on plans to remove pre-accreditation from the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) subsidy mechanism, Charlotte Morton, chief executive of the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA), said: “FIT pre-accreditation is vital for the ongoing success of the anaerobic digestion sector. Even smaller AD projects are relatively complex, and take over a year to develop. Pre-accreditation helps to make the development risk acceptable to funders.

“Tariffs for AD are already being reduced, and deployment is falling as a result – so this change is unnecessary from a cost control perspective.”

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