Feed-in tariff may be in the pipeline
A lobbying event last week, hosted by the Renewable Energy Association, Friends of the Earth and the Renewable Energy Tariff Coalition, to push for a 'feed-in tariff' may have met with success. The event was followed by a statement from Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband announcing plans to amend the Energy Bill to introduce a 'feed-in tariff' to support small scale renewable power generation.
The event showcased a 3D model of a ‘2020 town’ which demonstrated the different renewable energy possibilities available. As a result, huge support was generated with over 100 MPs (and rising) signing their support to the Early Day Motion (EDM) for the amendment to the Energy Bill.
The proposals announced by Ed Miliband today will offer a fixed reward to renewable power technologies only. The tariff proposed by the Coalition and the Lords would have rewarded producers of renewable heat and renewable gas, as well as power.
Consumers will have the potential to reduce and stabilise energy bills and generate additional revenue. A tariff is also widely seen as essential for driving renewable energy generation to the level required to meet the EU’s 2020 target. The UK is currently bottom of the league while the tariff model has been highly successful in Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
Leonie Greene, Head of External Affairs, Renewable Energy Association, commented: “Business and community support for this campaign has always been incredible and we are delighted that the new Department for Energy and Climate Change is showing it means business by picking this up. However, it is vital that the Tariff measure covers renewable heat as well. Heat is the primary use of energy in the UK, responsible for half the UK’s emissions – and renewable heat is the cheapest way to help meet the renewables targets.”
Dave Timms, Senior Campaigner, Parliamentary Unit, Friends of the Earth, added: “We welcome Ed Milliband’s acceptance of the need for a feed-in tariff and the important role that it can play in encouraging the installation of small scale renewable electricity systems, such as solar panels, wind and water turbines. However the details of the Government’s amendment are unknown. It is essential that they bring forward a comprehensive scheme, with a timetable for its introduction. It must include households, businesses, communities and local authorities, giving them all an incentive play their part in tackling climate change by generating renewable electricity and heat.
“The renewable energy potential in Britain is enormous, developing green power will cut our dependency on fossil fuels, slash UK carbon dioxide emissions, increase fuel security and create thousands of jobs.”
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