Shadow energy minister Tom Greatrex has challenged the government to clear up once and for all whether renewable energy schemes will be subject to the Prime Minister’s “green levy” review following conflicting signals from ministers.
Renewable energy companies were relieved earlier this week when Conservative energy minister Baroness Verma declared that “no one is talking about changing support for large-scale renewables or feed-in tariffs”, indicating that the renewables obligation and upcoming contract for difference schemes would not be cut as a result of the review.
Renewable energy trade associations also confirmed this week that they had received assurances from the Department of Energy and Climate Change that “between now and 2020, the support we give to low carbon electricity will increase year-on-year to £7.6bn – a tripling of the support for renewable energy”.
However, Conservative energy minister Michael Fallon had previously insisted that the government was looking at all “green levy” schemes as part of the review.
When asked by Labour MP Dr Alan Whitehead at Thursday’s energy statement in the House of Commons to clarify which schemes were under review, energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey failed to offer any assurance that renewables schemes would be exempted. “The honourable Gentleman, who is very knowledgeable in this area, will have to await the outcome of the review,” Davey replied. “It will be announced at the autumn statement or before. He and his colleagues will hear the results of the review at that time.”
The response prompted a letter from Greatrex to Davey calling on him to clarify precisely which schemes are being reviewed following the Prime Minister’s controversial pledge to “roll back” some “green levies”.