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Manufacturing industry calls for debate on renewable energy targets

Manufacturers industry body, EEF, has urged the government to open the debate on the 2020 Renewables Target or risk unnecessarily undermining the competitiveness of industry and unnecessarily increasing the costs of energy on consumers.

The call was made in response to the Committee on Climate Change review of renewable energy which is published today. According to the report, even by 2030 most renewable energy technologies are likely to remain considerably more expensive than alternative forms of low-carbon generation such as nuclear and even carbon capture and storage.

EEF believes there should be a more balanced approach which would lead the market to provide a greater mix of energy sources. This would include a greater use of nuclear power, Carbon Capture and Storage and more emphasis on energy efficiency.

“The Committee has made an informed and balanced assessment, which reinforces one of the central dilemmas of climate policy. Namely, how can we cut emissions without unnecessarily harming consumers or undermining the international competitiveness of UK industry,” said EEF Director of Policy Steve Radley.

“The message is now clear. Whilst continuing to cut emissions is vital, we owe it to business and consumers to go about it in the most cost-effective way.”

“Renewables must play a growing role in our energy mix and we need the right policies to ensure that this happens. But we need to ask if the 2020 renewable energy target is leading us down the wrong path. The previous government signed up to the target without careful consideration of the alternatives. This report provides the perfect opportunity for the current one to reconsider its merits.”

Readers' comments (2)

  • Michael Paul

    As an island, Britain is well placed to make maximum use of wind, wave and tidal energy sources, and should put money into research and development to make it a leading manufacturer of such systems. Surely this is preferable to the imported technology of nuclear new-build, with all its associated risks.
    Mike Paul, Stuttgart, Germany

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  • "most renewable energy technologies are likely to remain considerably more expensive than alternative forms of low-carbon generation such as nuclear" Only when most of the nuclear costs have been written-out of the equation.
    We are still awaiting for the commercially-competitive nuclear energy which is always promised but has never yet been delivered.

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