.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tory donor slams Cameron's record on green energy

Now this is interesting. According to the Independent one of the Conservative party’s biggest donors has launched an unprecedented attack on the Government, accusing them of squandering an opportunity to create thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of revenues by scaring off desperately-needed investors in the UK offshore wind industry.

They say that Alexander Temerko, a significant British energy investor whose company Offshore Group Newcastle builds foundations for offshore wind turbines and constructs oil and gas platforms, has become extremely frustrated by what he calls the Government’s “hypocritical” approach to energy policy and is dismissive of David Cameron’s pledge to lead the “greenest government ever”.

Mr Temerko is best known for being one of the 12 Tory party donors who enjoyed a private dinner with the highest echelons of the Conservative party this spring after making donations totalling more than £50,000. He has donated a total of £208,500 to the party in the past two years:

Mr Temerko also accused the Coalition of paying little more than lip-service to renewable energy. The Government says it backs electricity generated from sources such as wind and solar power, but has failed to provide the necessary targets and clarity on subsidies for green electricity generation which investors need before they can commit to a long-term project like a wind farm, he contends.

“The situation is frankly astonishing. The Treasury is definitely a big stakeholder for the uncertainty. But you can’t only blame George Osborne,” Mr Temerko said, arguing that the Prime Minister and Ed Davey, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, have also played a role in confusing investors.

Mr Temerko added: “The Government has been seriously, seriously, seriously misleading. It has given a declaration on renewable energy without crystallising what it’s going to do to support investment. Government policy is not fair at the moment. If it told us ‘look, we don’t want to develop a low-carbon economy anymore’, we would say ‘thank you, now we know what to do’.

“Instead, the Government has created big enthusiasm – but we are still waiting for a clear policy and definitive support. Green energy is very hypocritical from the government side.”
His comments relate to offshore wind generation, where the UK’s geography gives it tremendous potential, rather than onshore turbines, which are the subject of widespread opposition from local communities.

Mr Temerko says that the lack of government reassurance is putting manufacturers and consultants off setting up shop in the UK, meaning that the country has to import 82 per cent of the parts and services in the “supply chain” when it should be doing the vast majority in Britain.

I suspect the problem is one of incompatible coalition partners on this particular issue failing to agree a common line. Ed Davey was particularly scathing about climate change deniers within the government when he spoke at conference as were a number of other speakers. It seems that the battle that has ensued between them and the greener members of the cabinet has effectively undermined the whole policy agenda.

It would be hard to blame anyone in the renewables industry for not sharing his concern over where the UK Government is heading on green energy.

On a side note, the evidence for Wales is that there is actually widespread majority support for on-shore wind.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?