- The REA has welcomed the Environmental Audit Committee’s new report on ‘Accelerating the Transition from Fossil Fuels and Securing Energy Supplies’;
- The report criticised the Government for missing a crucial window of opportunity to implement energy efficiency measures to enable permanent protection for UK citizens from the impact of oil and gas prices;
- The REA has, however, noted that a complete range of renewable and clean technologies must now be deployed alongside those identified with the Committee’s report to meet our energy security and decarbonisation needs.
The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) has welcomed a new report published yesterday by the Environmental Audit Select Committee (EAC) titled ‘Accelerating the Transition from Fossil Fuels and Securing Energy Supplies’.
The report criticises the Government for having “missed a crucial window of opportunity” during the warmer months to implement energy efficiency measures that could have permanently protected UK citizens from the impact of volatile oil and gas prices. The EAC advised that the Chancellor should allocate a proportion of the revenue from the Energy Profits Levy, the windfall tax now applied to the oil and gas sector, to immediately bring forward this energy efficiency funding to fulfil the Government’s manifesto commitment to investing £9 billion in energy efficiency.
Additionally, the committee also references notable gaps in renewable energy policy in the government strategy; with today’s report particularly highlighting the immediate potential of onshore wind and the longer-term potential of tidal power. The REA also reiterates the need for a complete range of renewable and clean technologies deployed alongside those identified in the report. This includes recognising the role of bioenergy, geothermal, energy storage and others, all of which are crucial if the UK is to meet its net-zero targets.
The EAC recommends that the Treasury examine how a low-carbon investment allowance could be introduced for electricity producers paying the new temporary tax of 45% (called the Electricity Generator Levy), similar to the allowance provided to oil and gas producers. This is something that the REA has also been calling for since the new tax was announced in the Autumn Budget.
It remains highly disappointing that the Government does not provide renewable energy generators with the same level of generous tax reliefs as provided to the oil and gas sector, for new investments to enhance the UK’s energy security.
Mark Sommerfeld, Head of Power and Flexibility at the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA), said:
“The Environmental Audit Committee is right to be scrutinising the Government’s Energy Security Strategy which, despite only being published last April, is already off track. The Committee’s recommendation to speed up funding for energy efficiency measures within people’s homes, utilising funds raised through the windfall tax on oil and gas production, is one that must be implemented urgently if it is to have a meaningful impact on people’s energy bills before next winter.
“The EAC is also correct in calling for faster deployment of renewable technologies to help deliver both our own energy sovereignty and a decarbonised electricity grid. This will require a complete range of low-carbon technologies to be deployed alongside those referenced by the committee. This includes all forms of bioenergy, energy storage and geothermal – alongside solar, wind and tidal – together playing their role in a more flexible and clean electricity system.
“In order to get investment in these technologies moving again – following the uncertainty of the last few months – the Government must also take forward the EAC’s recommendation for a low-carbon investment allowance to be introduced for electricity producers paying the new temporary tax of 45%, reproducing the allowance already provided to the fossil oil and gas sector.”