Green Levy Target Dumped as Massive Overspend on Green Energy Looms

Stephane Mahe/REUTERS
Stephane Mahe/REUTERS

UK Chancellor George Osborne is expected to scrap green tax targets in the summer budget to be announced Wednesday. The move is designed to bring down the cost of renewable energy as subsidies spiral out of control.

Conservative Members of Parliament have said that the budget should serve as a wake up call and prompt a full-scale review of renewables subsidies.

In May, Breitbart London reported on findings by the Renewable Energy Foundation showing that Britain was on track to massively overshoot its renewable energy targets by £1.5 billion a year by 2020, fully 34 percent over budget.

The overspend was caused primarily by former Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary Ed Davey, who displayed an almost religious zeal for renewable technologies, going against the wishes of locals and the advice of numerous bodies, including English Heritage, to grant permission for a number of renewables projects.

Dr John Constable, director of REF, said of the findings: “The renewables sector overheating created by Mr Davey when he was in charge of DECC has left the new Secretary of State, Amber Rudd, with considerable budget and planning difficulties.”

He advised Mrs Rudd to “cool the industry down immediately” by advising local authorities and the Planning Inspectorate that harm to the local environment should now outweigh contributions towards a renewables target which has essentially already been met.

The government has closed the subsidy scheme a year early in a bid to limit the number of projects and therefore the burden on the public purse, but the REF advised that some already in the pipeline ought also to be scrapped.

Now, government sources are quietly admitting to the scale of the impending overspend, with the Telegraph reporting that green levies are set to rise to £170 a year per household to cover the extra spend – an increase of 17 percent on previous estimates.

Conservative ministers are said to be “furious” at the liabilities left by Davey, while Osborne is expected to scrap targets on environmental taxes when he unveils his red box on Wednesday.

Conservative MP Chris Heaton-Harris, a staunch opponent of subsidised wind farms, told Breitbart London: “Subsidy schemes are meant to help new industries with high start up costs find their legs, they’re not for the industry to keep suckling from for many decades afterwards.

“We also need to question the wisdom of funding schemes that help developers to develop systems which run on ultra-expensive fuels when so many people are already in fuel poverty.

“I really would hope that there will now be a fundamental review of how subsidies are directed in the renewables market, to ensure that we’re getting good value for money and to stop abuses.”

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