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17.05.13

Renewable subsidies harming green growth – Civitas

Green energy projects to meet EU directives by 2020 will cost every home £600 a year, Civitas has warned. A new paper, Are Green Times Just Around the Corner? Criticises “unprofitable renewables” and warns that subsidies are discouraging innovation, keeping green energy inefficient and unviable.

Increasing energy consumption from renewables to 15% by 2020, in line with the 2009 EU Renewables Directive, could lead to a long-term decline in living standards, the paper warns.

Dr John Constable, director of the Renewable Energy Foundation, writes: “The fact is that renewable energy is still far from competitive with fossil fuels, and nowhere near as economically productive. Consequently, shifting to current renewables for the bulk of our energy would result in a reversal of the long-run economic trend since the industrial revolution.

“The green energy industries are not sufficiently productive to be self-sustaining; that is to say they are not economically sustainable without continued support from the fossil-fuelled economy.

“This is an extremely expensive policy, and fossil fuel prices have to rise to super-high levels to make this look competitive.

“A long term future for the green economy is only possible if the green energy sector is as economically productive as the fossil-fuelled one, but the renewables of today simply are not so.

“A green economy as prosperous as today's fossil-fuelled economy is a theoretical possibility, but we can't be more definite. However, we can be certain that our current policies are taking us further away from that possibility, not closer to it.”

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