Did the energy industry get what it wanted from the UK spending review?

The chancellor has stopped speaking and the figures are in. But did the experts to whom this blog spoke earlier get what they wanted? Here are their responses.

Leonie Greene, Renewable Energy Association

The news that £860m is to be spent on the renewable heat incentive is fantastic. We should credit where it is due, and we are really delighted with this. It shows real leadership.

As far as photovoltaic cells goes, it would appear that the government will stick with the schedule of feed-in tariffs as planned by the previous government, although they say they will review that if there is “higher than expected deployment”. We will have to wait and see what that phrase means.

Roger Salomone, EEF

We are pleased that port infrastructure money appears to have survived the cut.

It is also good news that funding commitment for the first CCS demonstration has been retained, but the future of the other demonstration projects planned is unclear. The government says it is still to decide whether or not to introduce a levy to fund them. But it’s hard to see how a carbon price floor (the expected reform) would incentivise a company to make the massive upfront capital investments to set up a demonstrator. In contrast a levy would provide upfront funding.

Juliet Davenport, Good Energy (a 100% renewable energy supplier)

Chris Huhne and his ministers have done an excellent job in protecting the future of the UK renewables industry, for now at least. The Government’s decision to maintain feed-in-tariffs at their established levels until the planned review date of 2013 is good news. These tariffs are essential in driving renewable energy generation amongst consumers and businesses.

Doug Parr, Greenpeace

£1bn for the green investment bank is not enough, we want to see £4-6bn. But there is the chance for more money to come through government asset sales, so we will have to wait and see how much that raises.

We also want to see it become a proper bank, able to raise debt on the private market, rather than just a department within the government.

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