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Your Position: > Feedback >> Outstanding Articles >>> UK Energy Secretary Huhne Blasts 'Unholy Alliance'

UK Energy Secretary Huhne Blasts 'Unholy Alliance'

wellsee solar inverter & solar / 2011-11-02
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Huhne made his comments during a keynote speech at RenewableUK’s annual conference in Manchester where he said renewable energy technologies would deliver “a third industrial revolution every bit as profound as the first two.” According to Huhne, just this year, there have been approximately 9,000 jobs created and £1.7 billion invested in the UK renewables sector.

He also criticized what he called “the curmudgeons and faultfinders who hold forth on the impossibility of renewables” describing them as “an unholy alliance of short-termists, armchair engineers, climate sceptics and vested interests who are selling the UK economy short.”

His speech came amid growing dissatisfaction with what some are calling “green taxes” and the role those taxes are playing on utility bills. The government recently announced plans to slash subsidies for biomass and hydro. There are also indications that there will be cuts to the feed-in-tariff, which some fear could deflate the residential solar market.

“If FiTs were cut to a degree that destroys the residential solar industry, that would threaten 25,000 jobs across the country and would mean that the only people to benefit from solar PV electricity would be the rich,” said Dan Green, CEO of HomeSun. “This is not right. The solar industry can take a cut of 30 percent; any more and access to solar PV to all is gone.”

The onshore and offshore wind industries have been somewhat spared by the cost-cutting measures.

Huhne’s comments received wide applause from those in renewable energy industries.

“The Secretary of State’s emphatic defense of the renewables industry will provide a welcome and timely boost for everyone working in this dynamic sector,” said Maria McCaffery, RenewableUK’s Chief Executive.

Nick Molho, head of energy policy at WWF-UK, said, "Chris Huhne's comments today are a dose of sanity in an energy debate which has been all over the place recently. As he says, claims that 'green polices' are the reason for high energy bills are simply wrong; bills have been driven up by rises in the gas price and anyway, subsidies for renewables are dwarfed by huge global subsidies for fossil fuels.”

Ben Warren, partner for environmental finance at Ernst & Young, added, “At a time when opportunities for economic growth in the UK appear sparse, this market has the potential to create enormous opportunities for UK businesses by reducing the economy's exposure to ever increasing fossil fuel prices.”

User Comment

Anonymous user: give point ( 2011-11-02 16:45:49 )
Ah, if anyone dares question green energy, then they must be evil. Ergo they must be demonized and burned at the stake.

Fact is, governments have spent too much money and need to cut back. Subsidies for renewable energy are discretionary expenditures that need to go, along with all subsidies given to those who produce "stuff". Those renewable products that make sense will survive because they can compete. The vast army of oxygen wasting bureaucrats is also a discretionary expenditure that needs to be heaved over the side.

Anonymous user: give point ( 2011-11-02 16:44:27 )
I agree with many of the references, Steve. The renewables industry must recognize that there are vast numbers of wage and profit makers in the 'burn-tec' industries and supply chains who see solar energy and other renewables as simply a threat to their livelihood, and nothing more. I feel this is the main obstacle to the RE move to mainstream adoption. It is also the main reason that govt incentive programs are beneficial to some and an extreme threat to others. It is also why solar energy is more easily introduced into developing countries where burn-tec industries don't have a major throttling hold on commerce.

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