REA comments on the Cabinet reshuffle

Gaynor Hartnell urges Hayes and Paterson to do their renewables homework


REA Chief Executive Gaynor Hartnell comments on the appointment of Owen Paterson as Environment Secretary:


We urge Owen Paterson to embrace the waste to energy agenda. At present, materials which could be used to generate cheap, clean renewable energy are being exported to more enlightened countries in Europe, because we haven’t got sufficient capacity in the UK to make use of them. This makes our energy objectives and renewables targets harder and more expensive to achieve.


“One has to wonder how we have got into this situation? It boils down to not giving investors sufficient clarity to make them want to fund energy infrastructure. The less waste the UK converts into energy, the more the Government has to rely on more expensive technologies to meet its targets.”


On the appointment of John Hayes as Energy Minister:


“Given John Hayes’ reported stance on energy subsidies, he might want to take a good hard look at energy policy in the round. We would be happy to meet with him to discuss the latest information on falling costs of renewables and increasing costs of other energy forms. We are about to embark on Electricity Market Reform, which will see just about every form of power generation subsidised.


“Under pressure from Treasury to scrutinise the cost of renewables policies, DECC is becoming increasingly interventionist. More and more DECC is attempting to dictate how much of each technology should be deployed. This should be left to the market, and the cheapest technologies should be encouraged to make the maximum contribution. Instead we have increasing complexity, and investors becoming more wary.”

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