The Government is committed to meeting 15 per cent of the UK’s energy demands from renewable resources by 2020, and FITs have led to levels of renewable energy deployment that have surpassed all expectations.
It is, of course, good news for the environment that renewable energy has been rolled out sooner than expected, but the extra costs associated with providing FITs are ultimately paid by consumers through their energy bills. I would expect the Government to ensure that these costs are kept affordable.
That is why Ministers have sought views from interested parties on proposals designed to relieve the pressure on energy consumers from rising costs, improve value for their money, and keep the costs of renewable energy policies sustainable.
Government support has driven down the cost of renewable energy and technologies such as solar are continuing to see costs fall. I believe that Government support should help low-cost, low-carbon technologies to stand on their own feet, rather than create dependence on public subsidies. Indeed, the global transformation we need in energy will only happen if low-carbon options become cheaper without subsidy than the alternative.
I do appreciate that these changes may affect the number of jobs in this sector in the short term and any job losses are, of course, regrettable. Ultimately, commercial decisions are a matter for the companies involved, and it is important that the priority for the Government is to keep bills as low as possible for families and businesses.