Renewables ‘lead to lower energy prices’

18 October 2013
By Edd Gent
Mobile version
Share |
Renewable energy is lowering energy prices not increasing them, according to Scotland's energy minister

Renewable energy is lowering energy prices not increasing them, according to Scotland's energy minister

Energy bills would be even higher than at present without renewables, Scotland's energy minister has warned.


Fergus Ewing told the SNP conference in Perth that UK Government's Department of Energy and Climate Change figures show bills would be £166 a year higher by the end of this decade without energy such as wind, wave and tidal.

Last week power firm SSE blamed its decision to raise gas and electricity bills by up to 10 per cent for millions of households on the sharp rise in levies to pay for low-carbon generation and energy efficiency.

And yesterday British Gas, which operates in Scotland as Scottish Gas, also claimed that Government energy schemes are one reason it is hiking prices by 10.4 per cent for electricity and 8.4 per cent gas from next month.

Regional variations mean prices for households in the north of Scotland – where electricity is distributed by Scottish Hydro – will rise by as much as 11.2 per cent. In Fife and in central and southern Scotland – covered by Scottish Power – customers will be charged 9.5 per cent more.

"Actually, renewables lead to lower energy prices,” said Ewing. "Were there no renewable energy then that of course would be displaced by gas prices. And what has happened to them? In other words, if there was not renewable energy in the quantities that there now are and are anticipated to be then energy bills would be even higher.

"So do not accept the myths, the fallacies and the distortions spread by those who are opposed to renewable energy."

Renewables would also provide security of supply, new jobs and lower carbon emissions, Mr Ewing said. The SNP administration aims to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland's electricity requirements from renewables by 2020.

Last week SSE chief executive Alistair Philips-Davies called for a debate on the "green agenda" which he claimed will lead to more bill increases in the future.

Bills would fall by £110 per household overnight if green energy subsidies and the cost of other schemes, such as free loft insulation, were funded through the tax system, according to SSE.

"Maybe it's time to retreat from decarbonisation and focus more on the cost of living. I think we have to have a debate about it. Do we want to be replacing one bit of (energy) generation that we can keep going for a bit longer with a new bit of generation that's going to cost more?'' Phillips-Davies asked.

"I doubt the public like price increases of this magnitude but if we carry on firmly behind the green agenda, we will continue to have price increases like this.''

Yesterday Ian Peters, managing director of British Gas Residential Energy, said: "What's pushing up energy prices at the moment are costs that are not all directly under our control, such as the global price of energy, charges that we have to pay for using the national grid that delivers energy to the home, and the cost of the Government's social and environmental programmes."

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1604

"Should the UK's engineers be in or out of Europe? The IET sets out its official position on the EU referendum this week - will you agree?"

->

E&T jobs

  • Solutions Engineer

    Bristol Water
    • United Kingdom
    • £41,000 - 49,000

    We serve a population of over one million people and all the associated businesses in an area of 1,000 square miles centered on Bristol.

    • Recruiter: Bristol Water

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Mechanical Engineer

    Bristol Water
    • United Kingdom
    • £41,000 - 49,000

    We serve a population of over one million people and all the associated businesses in an area of 1,000 square miles centered on Bristol.

    • Recruiter: Bristol Water

    Apply for this job

  • Software Renewals Manager

    BAE Systems
    • Preston, Lancashire, England
    • Negotiable

    Software Renewals Manager Would you like to work in a resourceful and developing role within IT Services? We currently have a vacancy for a Software Renewals Manager at our site in Preston Channel Way. As a Software Renewals Manager, you will be responsi

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Technical Manager

    Aggregate Industries
    • Hulland Ward, Ashbourne
    • Attractive salary plus comprehensive benefits

    A key Technical Manager role driving product improvement and compliance with Aggregate Industries, market leader in Construction Solutions.

    • Recruiter: Aggregate Industries

    Apply for this job

  • Field Application Engineer

    Intel
    • Madrid

    Responsible for giving product presentations to the customer describing how Intel products provide the optimum solution to their application.

    • Recruiter: Intel

    Apply for this job

  • Engineers and Scientists

    European Patent Office
    • Munich and The Hague
    • See job description

    We are looking for Engineers and scientists in various technical fields for our locations in Munich and The Hague.

    • Recruiter: European Patent Office

    Apply for this job

  • Director of Product Management

    EMS Recruitment Group
    • West Yorkshire
    • Circa £70,000 PA + car allowance, excellent benefits including lucrative bonus scheme

    Our client is the undoubted world leader in their field. A highly innovative and progressive specialist electro-mechanical product manufacturer....

    • Recruiter: EMS Recruitment Group

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Engineer

    Premium job

    Scottish Prison Service
    • Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh
    • £40,654 to £48,579 plus annual supplement of £10,000

    Build Your Engineering Career. The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) is an Agency of the Scottish Government, working in partnership.....

    • Recruiter: Scottish Prison Service

    Apply for this job

  • Sales Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Precision Microdrives
    • London (Greater)
    • £25,000 - £30,000 starting salary, inclusive of on-target commissions.

    Precision Microdrives (PMD) is a fast growing technology company that designs, produces and trades miniature electro-mechanical mechanisms

    • Recruiter: Precision Microdrives

    Apply for this job

  • Installation and Commissioning Engineer

    Premium job

    Crest Solutions
    • Corby
    • Competitive

    You will be involved in installation, commissioning & servicing of printing and machine vision related solutions.

    • Recruiter: Crest Solutions

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T