July 18, 2012

DECC Dashes REA's Hopes on the ROCs

Amongst a plethora of TL(and longer)As it is our sad duty to report today that the Renewable Energy Association are very disappointed by the (in)actions of the Department of Energy and Climate Change.  The REA recently published the Summer 2012 edition of their "REA News" magazine. Here it is:

As you can see, in her introduction Gaynor Hartnell, REA Chief Executive, expressed the view that:

Under pressure from the Treasury, DECC is grappling with the task of maintaining momentum towards the renewable energy targets, whilst not allowing any possibility of over-reward. This is widely speculated to be the cause of the delay in the publication of the conclusions of the RO Banding Review. Hopefully by the time you read this edition, the results will finally be out.

As you can also see, that edition is indeed now out but Gaynor's hopes have nonetheless been dashed. Even though Parliament shut up shop for the summer yesterday the Renewables Obligation Banding Review conclusions are still not out yet. If you flick through the virtual pages of REA News you will read any number of comments concerning the importance of getting renewables funding on a firm footing as quickly as possible. Here are one or two examples:

Tim Yeo – Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee (and President of the REA)

The benefits brought by the renewable energy industry should be viewed in a much wider context than they otherwise have been. They will provide the UK with a long term commercial advantage.

Ed Davey – Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change:

The need for investment and jobs means it's really important that we forge ahead with our plans for creating an investment-friendly climate for energy, in particular for renewables.

William Hague – Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs:

There is unprecedented global demand for green innovation, which could provide an enormous boost to UK industry in the years to come.

When trying to persuade other countries, both advanced and developing countires, to go green, it is a huge advantage to be able to point to the example we are setting at home.

In conclusion here are Gaynor's most recent comments on these events, which arrived in my inbox earlier today:

Those within DECC know that this delay is immensely damaging to the industry and will be seeking to resolve things as rapidly as they can. Developers need certainty and soon.

This delay is the most serious yet. It does not bode well for the schedule for electricity market reform, which is far more complex.

On the one hand the Treasury wants to bring about growth in energy infrastructure, with its new Guarantee scheme; on the other hand it is directly hampering it, by preventing the planned publication of the financial incentives for renewable electricity projects from 2013

Apparently DECC's conclusions will eventually be made public "by 30th September at the latest". What sort of example is that setting to other countries, whether currently advanced or developing? What can the UK government possibly be thinking of?

Just in case it's relevant here's another quote, this time from The Independent for a change:

Ed Davey, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, had been due to announce a new level of Government support for wind turbines today when he appeared before Parliament.

Mr Davey is understood favouring cutting subsidies by around 10 per cent – a level recommended by the Government’s own review into renewable energy,

But the measure is being blocked by Mr Osborne who is demanding far greater cuts before signing off on the new strategy.

George Osborne is currently Chancellor of the Exchequer

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Comments on DECC Dashes REA's Hopes on the ROCs »

July 20, 2012

Martin Alder @ 12:00 pm

This prevarication is very damaging but not unprecedented as those of us who were involved with the NFFO know. One has to conclude that delay and dither is the policy .. every one in the industry calls for certainty,clarity and prompt decisions and the government do quite precisely the opposite.

We must wait and hope that the rumours of a change at number 11 are accurate. It has been clear for some time that the Chancellor is not in favour of Renewables and also rumoured that he was instrumental in organising the 100 MPs againts wind turbine subsidies.

I can't help thinking (I'm no lawyer)that if this hiatus continues those responsible may be liable to proceedings under the RES directive?

July 21, 2012

Jim @ 12:18 pm

Hi Martin,

I'm afraid the Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation was before my time – concerning myself with UK energy policy (or lack thereof) at least.

I take it from your comment that you're currently suffering a dreadful sense of déjà vu? Be that as it may, the current state of affairs is most certainly very damaging, in more ways than one. I'm no lawyer either, but there certainly ought to be a law against this sort of thing, if there isn't one already.

Jim

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