CCC puts its money on renewables

The Committee on Climate Change reports that generating energy from renewable sources will keep UK household fuel bills lower than relying on fossil fuels such as gas.

The publication of the report coincided with energy secretary Ed Davey’s announcement that exploration for shale gas would be permitted in the UK having been paused in May 2011 over safety fears.

The CCC highlighted the fact that household bills were driven up by 62 percent between 2004 and 2011 due largely to increases in the wholesale price of gas. In comparison, support for renewables has led to a 10 percent increase over the same period.

It concludes that by 2050 household bills could be £600 higher if the government proceeds with new build gas-fired generation. This figure could be as low as £100 if the government chooses a lower carbon route.

Wind, wave and tidal trade body RenewableUK welcomes the report’s findings which reinforce the financial and environmental sense of placing renewable energy at the heart of the UK’s future energy mix.

Maria McCaffery, RenewableUK chief executive, said: “This report proves that the pound in your pocket is safer with renewables rather than with gas. We know how much renewables cost, but gas has proven to be an extraordinary volatile commodity. We must loosen its grip, for the sake of all of us hard-pressed bill payers, by switching to a more affordable mix of renewable sources.

“The Committee on Climate Change’s authoritative report is warning against a dash for gas. The chancellor should take note of their expert opinion, rather than being swayed by a small majority of less well-informed voices.”