A leading expert in renewable energy has warned the Government’s freeze on Carbon Tax will hit investment in the sector. Paul McCullagh, CEO of UK renewables company UrbanWind, is calling on the Government to give a clear commitment to green energy and encourage investors – or risk the UK losing out on the job creating potential of the sector.
His comments follow manufacturing giant Siemens and the UK’s Associated British Ports announcing they are to invest a total of £310m in UK wind turbine factories, creating 1,000 jobs.
“Companies, like Siemens and ABP, are sending a clear signal to the coalition. They are leading the way in encouraging investment in wind energy” he said.
“However, the Government’s freeze on Carbon Tax sends out a contradictory and wrong message and will hit investment in the renewable energy sector.
“David Cameron needs to follow Siemen’s example and show confidence in the sector and encourage investors through positive and consistent policy decisions.”
Paul McCullagh highlighted how a freeze on the Carbon Price Floor demonstrated a further eroding of the Government’s commitment to renewable energy and was a further blow to the UK’s climate change commitments.
“It’s a step backwards in the process of facilitating the transition from fossil fuel-burning energy to cleaner renewable energy options, such as wind” he said. “It sends totally the wrong message to investors.
“Given increasing uncertainty worldwide over the security of gas and oil supplies, this will not help us in moving away from a reliance on imported fossil fuels such as coal and LPG, and the additional risks that we carry by continuing to do so. Recent events in Ukraine highlight how quickly concerns over security of supply can arise for the imported sources of energy we rely on.
And he added:
“It’s vital that the Government gives clear direction to investors and sets out a robust, confident plan for tackling both security of supply and climate change issues.
“This backing down over a tax that has only been in place for two years will undermine investor confidence in the sector at a time when renewable energy in Britain needs predictable policy to allow it to continue to grow.”
Britain’s carbon tax will be frozen at 2015 levels. The move is a downscaling of Britain’s carbon price floor, which came into effect in April 2013.
With its headquarters in Glasgow and an operation in Lancashire, UrbanWind is a leading UK provider of renewable energy technology. Its highly experienced and knowledgeable team has undertaken more than 500 successful turbine installations across the UK.
Paul McCullagh highlights that the appetite to invest in wind turbine technology is growing and needs to be supported by Government.
“At UrbanWind we are already seeing a rise in interest in wind turbines from businesses with land assets, as well as individual site owners.
“With UrbanWind’s turbine finance models, businesses and land owners have options. They are geared specifically to helping to finance turbines on their land assets and also addressing the impact of rising energy costs on their business.
“Wind turbine technology is today helping businesses and site owners generate valuable additional revenue streams, as well as to drive down their energy costs, cut their carbon footprint and push their Corporate Social Responsibility agendas forward.
“Businesses, organisations and individuals that own land can utilise green energy technology to tackle their high energy use, reduce their impact on climate change and realise the ambition to utilise their land assets further. However, this appetite from businesses and individual landowners to embrace wind technologies needs to be fed by government support for the renewable energy sector.”