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Green Energy Report Kept Under Wraps

By Katie Anderson on February 8, 2012

Consultancy firm KPMG has announced that it does not intend to publish the findings of a report analysing the potential cost of government policy on green energy.

The decision to keep the full facts of the report hidden from public consumption was made after elements of the British media ran several misleading and inaccurate stories based on preliminary findings published last year. The BBC’s Panorama programme also attracted criticism after using the data as the basis for an attack on clean energy.

KPMG has stressed that the findings of the report are “ripe for misinterpretation”, so they will be shared only with interested parties.

KPMG’s Sorrelle Cooper explained: “The assumptions and parameters used in the model, which examined the investment and lifetime costs of different energy generation sources, produced large swings in the financial outcomes”.

In other words, KPMG cannot accurately predict the cost of the Government’s green energy policy. Publishing findings that are based on a broad range of possibilities is only likely to fuel more speculation on the price of clean energy.

Head of Climate Change at WWF-UK, Keith Allott, said: “The whole issue of energy bills and renewable energy has been whipped up into a media storm over recent months, with scant regard to the real evidence base”.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for RenewableUK criticised the methods used by KPMG to calculate the potential cost of clean energy. The spokesperson added: “KPMG needs to be made more aware of the benefits of wind energy. The cost is just £10 per household per year, according to the independent regulator Ofgem.

“Gas hit a three-year high of 75p per therm in Britain on [the 3rd February] as a result of the cold snap across Europe. We have to get off the fossil fuel hook to stop our energy bills escalating”.

The cost of green energy policy is of critical importance to households across the UK, where the cost of gas central heating in particular has risen sharply over recent years. A switch to renewables may prove expensive initially, but in the long term the move would likely save money whilst significantly reducing the country’s carbon emissions.