REA wants new ministers to do their homework on renewables


Renewable Energy Association chief executive Gaynor Hartnell has urged new Environment Secretary Owen Paterson and Energy Minister John Hayes to learn quickly about renewable energy.

This followed their appointment to their new roles following a Government reshuffle this week.


Gaynor Hartnell said: “We urge Owen Paterson to embrace the waste to energy agenda. At present, materials which could be used to generate cheap, clean renewable energy are being exported to more enlightened countries in Europe, because we haven’t got sufficient capacity in the UK to make use of them. This makes our energy objectives and renewables targets harder and more expensive to achieve.

“One has to wonder how we got into this situation? It boils down to not giving investors sufficient clarity to make them want to fund energy infrastructure. The less waste the UK converts into energy, the more the Government has to rely on more expensive technologies to meet its targets.

“Given John Hayes’ reported stance on energy subsidies, he might want to take a good hard look at energy policy in the round. We would be happy to meet with him to discuss the latest information on falling costs of renewables and increasing costs of other energy forms. We are about to embark on Electricity Market Reform, which will see just about every form of power generation subsidised.

“Under pressure from the Treasury to scrutinise the cost of renewables policies, DECC is becoming increasingly interventionist. More and more DECC is attempting to dictate how much of each technology should be deployed.

“This should be left to the market, and the cheapest technologies should be encouraged to make the maximum contribution. Instead, we have increasing complexity, and investors becoming more wary.”