Britain’s green energy ‘folly’ will cost every family an extra £600 a year by 2020, a report warned last night.
The cost to consumers of green energy subsidies will exceed £16billion a year within seven years, according to a leading industry analyst.
Dr John Constable, director of the Renewable Energy Foundation, warned that the huge burden on taxpayers could lead to the first long-term decline in living standards since the Industrial Revolution.
He estimates that a third of the £600 annual cost will land on energy bills.
The rest will be borne by businesses who will pass on the costs to consumers by charging higher prices for their goods.
In a report titled Are Green Times Just Around The Corner?, he said: ‘Shifting to current renewables for the bulk of our energy would result in a reversal of the long-run economic trend since the Industrial Revolution.
‘More people would be working for lower wages in the energy sector, energy costs would rise, the economy would stagnate and there would also be a significant decline in people’s standard of living.’
He added: ‘The annual additional cost to consumers will be upwards of £16billion a year in 2020, which is over 1 per cent of current GDP.
‘One third of this cost would hit households directly through their electricity bills, regardless of income, making it an intensely regressive measure.
‘The remainder of the cost would be passed through from industrial and commercial customers and eventually be met by households from increases in the cost of living. The total impact would be in the order of £600 per household per year, assuming there are 26million households.’