David Cameron, prime minister, made a promise during his first month in the government. He stated that this government will be the “greenest ever”, but now it looks like this promise might turn out to be false, because of George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Earlier this year, Osborne gave the first signs of forgetting about the ‘green government’ when his second budget as a finance minister didn’t involve any support for renewable energy sources. However, the budget revealed a planned strategy for developing gas fields. The strategy should be presented this autumn and it may turn the UK into a “gas hub”, because of the tax breaks of up to £500 million.
David presented the United Kingdom’s energy bill back in May and in July he officially announced the new subsidies for large, renewable energy sources. The changes will take effect in 2013 and will last until 2017.
According to the energy department, the new rates can attract up to £25 billion new investments in the country’s economy. David Cameron says: “Supporting large-scale renewables will support the British economy and open more job spots across the country. The support we are showing will attract new investors and hopefully ensure the growth of renewable energy”
However Cameron’s plans may be left behind by Osborne’s plans to support fossil fuel generation more than renewables. This February, over 100 members of the parliament send a letter to Cameron, requesting a cut in support for wind power. Osborne accepted this and demanded to cut the subsidies for the wind sector by 25%.
After several days of negotiations, the two sides reached a compromise and reduced the subsidies by 10% and agreed that this will give communities a bigger chance to benefit from wind farms. It is expected that Cameron will introduce the new bill in the parliament’s next session and it could cause a major shake up in the UK’s energy sector.