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Government renewables support slammed by MPs

A key panel of MPs has criticised the government over its support for renewable energy development.

The cross-party Energy and Climate Change Committee said the government’s policy body the Low Carbon Innovation Co-ordination Group was understaffed and had muddled governance.

It said this was damaging communication with innovators in the UK, and reducing the benefits gained from European arrangements.

“There is a mismatch between the resources allocated by the government to support companies and its level of ambition in this complex policy area,” said the committee in a report.

“The government’s main tool for this policy is the public-private body LCICG. Unfortunately the LCICG’s governance is muddled, with an unhelpful mix of core and associate members and inadequate transparency on decision-making and information sharing.”

It said the Department of Energy and Climate Change had admitted that a lack of staff resource prevented it from engaging fully on European issues.

“These issues include the ability to shape multi-billion euro funding programmes; help UK innovators access EU funding; and help shape EU standards on low carbon products such as energy efficiency devices and heat pumps,” said the report.

A DECC spokesperson insisted the government had put in place effective policies to encourage investment and innovation in renewable energy.

“We are now rated one of the best places to invest in renewables, as well as a world-leading centre in advanced offshore wind and carbon capture and storage technologies,” the spokesperson said.

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