United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Renewables not responsible for rising prices

UK: Support for wind and other renewables have been ruled out as the main cause of rising consumer energy bills, the government’s advisor on climate change said today.

The Committee on Climate Change has analysed the impact of meeting carbon budgets on household energy bills. These have soared in recent years with renewable energy carrying much of the blame.

This view has been most prevalent in the right-wing press, which has increasingly attacked policies on wind.

In a speech in October, chancellor George Osborne said: "A decade of environmental laws and regulations are piling costs on the energy bills of households and companies."

But the study concluded that price rises in the wholesale price of gas are the primary cause.

Household energy bills rose from around £605 (€720) in 2004 to £1060 in 2010. Of this increase, around £290 was due to increases in gas prices.

Around £75 was due to policies to reduce carbon emissions, including £30 to support investment in low-carbon technologies.

Over the next decade, investment in low-carbon technologies will increase bills by £110, with a further £15 to support grid investment.

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