Conservatives outline green fiscal stimulus
The UK’s main opposition party, the Conservatives, have urged the UK government to adopt green fiscal measures to stimulate the Green tech sector.
George Osborne, shadow chancellor of the exchequer, pledged a £6,500 entitlement grant for every household to be fitted with energy improvements, with the cost being repaid through savings in fuel bills over a 25-year period.
“With no upfront costs and immediate savings on their bill, there will be no obstacle to households improving the energy efficiency of their home,” said Osborne.
Osborne also urged the government to bring forward the introduction of smart meters and feed-in tariffs which are already legislated for in the 2008 Energy Act but no rollout schedule has yet been set by the UK authorities.
The Conservatives have also promised to use part of its receipts from the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to fund the installation of Carbon Capture and Storage equipment and pipeline networks for at least 5GW of new coal-fired power plant. Currently, the UK is planning one 300MW demonstration project.
The Conservatives also plan to provide government loan guarantees to companies investing in green technologies, as part of their proposed National Loans Guarantee Scheme, and said that they were working with The London Stock Exchange to create the world’s first environmental trading market to provide funds for green tech companies.
Osborne also advocates the instigation of large scale marine energy parks around Britain’s shoreline and to build an offshore direct current cable network which would run like ‘bootlaces’ down each side of the UK coastline in order to foster offshore renewable energy development.
Osborne branded the UK government’s proposal for financial incentives for car owners to switch to electric vehicles as “unworkable” due to the lack of charging points.
“This technology is essential if it is to become mainstream,” said Osborne at a press conference in central London. He also promised to introduce a ‘smart grid’ to manage the increased demand for electricity that would result from any higher take-up of electric cars.