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Report Questions Government’s Reliance on Renewables

By Katie Anderson on December 14, 2011

At roughly the same time as Prime Minister David Cameron vetoed an EU initiative to control the finance sectors of EC member states, a report published by Adam Smith Institute and Scientific Alliance has questioned the British Government’s reliance on renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar.

That the UK Government relies so heavily on renewables will come as a surprise to many people in the country, especially those who are aware of the Coalition’s recent decision to halve the rate paid under FITs (Feed-in Tariffs). Surely no responsible government that is evidently reliant on renewable sources of energy would limit support for solar subsidies on grounds of cost whilst agreeing a £30 billion bail-out package for an economic zone from which it has been left so desperately isolated?

According to Martin Livermore, a staunch global warming sceptic who co-authored the report, the UK’s desire to convert to renewables is costing energy consumers dearly. Mr Livermore said: “For too long, we have been told that heavy investment in uneconomic renewable energy was not only necessary but would provide a secure future electricity supply.

“The facts actually show that current renewable technologies are incapable of making a major contribution to energy security and have only limited potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions”.

Energy security is an interesting topic in so far as no single source of energy is more secure than the sun, which shines constantly on planet Earth, but not always on the UK. Short of developing a technology to harness solar energy above the cloud cover, the UK would probably need to look to North Africa for a permanent source of solar electricity – and would buying solar energy from Morocco prove any more secure than buying oil from the Middle East? Mr Livermore is doubtful.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has responded to the report, claiming it “completely misses the point”. A DECC spokesperson added: “Our policies are aimed at developing a mix of energy sources here in the UK rather than relying so much on expensive fossil fuel imports”.

Households can avail of solar PV technology by installing panels on suitable rooftops – a move that can significantly reduce domestic energy bills.