Conservatives propose new energy policy for the UK
Promoting renewable energy, creating a Green Investment Bank and minimising the cost of capital for energy investments are just some of the proposals outlined by the Conservative party in its new energy policy.
According to the Conservative party the policy, Rebuilding Security, Conservative Energy Policy for an Uncertain World, contains plans for the largest overhaul of British energy since the early 1980’s.
Conservative party leader David Cameron said: “British energy policy is out of date. It was designed almost 30 years ago for a world in which Britain had an excess of generating capacity; in which we enjoyed the benefits of growing North Sea oil and gas production; and in which neither local pollution nor climate change were the concerns they are today.”
The policy sets out 12 key actions to “rebuild security” in the energy sector one of which is the promotion of renewable energy, including biomass and the use of waste products to generate energy.
The policy states: “Decentralised energy – which includes CHP, waste heat capture, biomass, biogas and micro-generation technologies – has the potential to make a contribution to Britain’s production of both electricity and heat.
“In promoting biomass, biogas and the capture of waste heat we will support the use of sustainably-sourced fuels and waste products, rather than feedstocks whose production damages the environment.”
Additionally the first part of the policy relates to minimising the cost of capital for investments in energy.
One of the ways in which they are proposing to do this is by replacing the Renewables Obligation, where possible, with feed-in tariffs.
According to the report this will provide a more “stable, certain and straightforward revenue stream for new energy developments – thereby reducing investor risk and lowering the cost of capital.”
Responding to this particular part of the policy Renewable Energy Association chief executive Gaynor Hartnell said: “This is a very radical suggestion. The need for a stable framework runs through the document, and achieving this flexibility without causing instability would be a challenge.”
Elsewhere, there has been a mixed reaction to the policy with it being welcomed by some groups while being heavily criticised by others.
The Liberal Democrat shadow energy and climate change secretary Simon Hughes called elements of the policy a “recipe for disaster”.
However, the EEF manufacturer’s organisation said the policy could herald a “major breakthrough” for the future of UK energy.
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