The solar industry has aligned to rubbish a report issued by the Centre for Policy Studies released yesterday which sought to discredit renewable energies and their impact on the UK’s energy mix.

The ‘How renewable subsidies destroyed the UK electricity market’, written by famed climate change critic Rupert Darwall, argued that renewable energy subsidies had left the UK’s energy market as a “vast, ramshackle Public Private Partnership” and accused government policies of “hiding the full cost of intermittent renewables”.

Darwall also claimed that the UK would need 28GW extra capacity to deal with renewable energy’s “intermittency problem”, and that extra grid infrastructure costs would result in an annualised capital cost of £9bn for renewable energy, £6bn more than cost estimates for gas.

However the report’s findings have been widely rounded upon by the renewable sector, prompting the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to respond by stating that the report “ignores the reality of the energy market”.

“[The report] wrongly suggests that we can ditch renewables for gas, with no explanation of where we would source that from. It also appears to suggest that we should row back on the tremendous gains we have made in the fight on climate change. Given the dire consequences of global warming this is not an option,” DECC said.

And speaking to Solar Power Portal this morning, Renewable Energy Association head of external affairs James Court said the “antediluvian” report was “plain wrong in its findings”.

“By clinging to the old models, it fails to address the issues with the current market, and wilfully refuses to look at how the technology and consumers are changing, not to mention the urgent need to de-carbonise.

“Solar has grid parity in its sights and storage technologies are already in the market. Cost effective and more decentralised generation is going to play a huge part in the future market and this report fails to see the direction of travel of the UK and global market,” Court said.

It also prompted a strong response from Professor Catherine Mitchell of the University of Exeter, who labelled the report a “hope-to-be-hatchet job” that offered “little new wisdom”.

“Energy systems are social constructs and a competitive energy system with high proportions of renewable energy and energy efficiency is eminently possible,” Mitchell said.