Renewable Energy Foundation

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Domestic Consumers Shouldn’t Pay More for Arbitrary Renewables Targets

The Renewable Energy Foundation today welcomed the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) study showing that the UK's climate change policies are expensive relative to other major economies and damaging for UK industry. [1]

REF has consistently argued since its creation in 2004 that our renewable energy and low carbon policies are counterproductive, since the costs are unreasonably high and consequently unpersuasive to the rest of the world.

The 2020 EU Renewables target for the UK is both infeasible and unfair, and the short timescale requires an Express Service that is driving subsidy to unsustainable levels.[2]

However, reducing the share of subsidy costs for industry by increasing the load on other consumers is not the way forward.

Dr Constable, director of REF, said: "Subsidising renewables to meet arbitrary EU targets is not only economically damaging, but also a very ineffective and wasteful way of encouraging the clean energy sector to become competitive."

Dr Constable continued:“A German-style compensation package for industry would just transfer costs onto other consumers. We need to cut the climate policy costs themselves, which would reduce the burden on all consumers and provide an economically compelling example of low carbon development.”

Notes :

1. ICF International (for the Department of Business Innovation & Skills, BIS), “An International Comparison of Energy and Climate Change Policies Impacting Energy Intensive Industries in Selected Countries” (11 July 2012).

2. For the EU targets per country and relative progress towards meeting these targets, see the “Renewables” tab at

Last Updated on Friday, 13 July 2012