Energy and climate change secretary Amber Rudd said she was “acutely aware of the need for certainty” within the renewables sector and confirmed discussions with the Treasury regarding the future of the Levy Control Framework.
Speaking at today’s Energy and Climate Change Select Committee hearing, Rudd said discussions between the Department of Energy and Cliamte Change (DECC) and the Treasury regarding the future of the LCF beyond 2020/2021 were ongoing, and that she would also be pressing on what can be said on the matter and when she can say it.
The future of the LCF has become a source of scrutiny after it became apparent that it was on course to record a substantial overspend by 2020/2021, however the Committee on Climate Change recommended only last month that support under the LCF be extended until 2025, with rolling updates thereafter, in order to “ensure the power sector can invest with 10-year lead times”.
Yesterday Solarcentury head of public affairs Seb Berry told Solar Power Portal that frequent media leaks from within DECC had served to undermine investor confidence in the sector, however Rudd today refuted that policy decisions had caused investors to think twice about backing renewable energy projects in the country.
The secretary claimed that the removal of subsidy support for onshore wind – a decision which has attracted heavy criticism – had failed to dissuade several developers from pursuing projects in the UK and claimed some large developers had even contacted the department about constructing onshore wind farms without subsidy support.
But while Rudd insisted the government would continue to support the renewable energy industry, she said value for money would “always come first” under a majority Conservative government and that the sector would have to have confidence in its strategy to progress renewables towards grid parity, which Rudd was confident was “in sight”.