02 Dec 2010 09:12:09
Renewable energy industry 'is propped up by subsidies'
Renewable energy developments in the UK would not be going ahead were it not for heavy government subsidies, one industry expert has claimed.
Dr John Constable, director of policy and research at the Renewable Energy Foundation, said that using such subsidies to transform the energy industry "just isn't economically sustainable".
The expert was speaking following the announcement that electricity provider Ecotricity will be opening a number of solar parks across the UK, the first of which is due to begin operation in March 2011.
Dr Constable said that wind and solar photovoltaic generation is "very heavily subsidised at the expense of the general electricity consumer" and disputed the perception that the UK was entering a "renewable renaissance".
"We will only be on the verge of a renewable boom when government can withdraw subsidies because the industry is fundamentally economic," he said, adding that he believes subsidies serve to develop "weak companies and poor products".
The UK government is currently aiming for 15 percent of the country's electricity to be generated from renewable resources by the year 2020.