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Green Taxes only responsible for 1% of energy bill for producing steel in UK

With so much information in the press at the moment, reporting that Tata Steel is blaming the un-profitability of steel making in the UK on green taxes, the Centre for Sustainable Energy in Bristol have provided some hard facts. Their figures suggest, largely because most of Tata’s energy bill comes from consuming gas that ‘green taxes’ account for only 1% of their energy bill – a fact backed up by the Financial Times. The letter below includes other interesting facts like the nuclear clear-up work costing almost double that of ‘green taxes’. The letter in its entirety is below:

The threat to the Port Talbot steel works has seen claims that ‘green energy’ is putting up bills and costing the UK jobs – the latest in a long line of claims about the impacts of renewables on energy bills. In response we have updated our blog on the facts about subsidies for renewables, impact on energy bills and how this compares with other sources of energy.

BILLS

  • Government energy policy measures are responsible for around 1 per cent of the costs of Port Talbot steel works. Read more. And that’s before the rebate the government pays to energy intensive users (now being replaced by a complete exemption). Read more.
  • In 2014 renewable subsidies were responsible for £45 of the average £1,369 household dual fuel bill (£36 ROCs and £9 FIT). Read more.

SUBSIDIES

  • Globally, according to the International Monetary Fund, the fossil fuel sector receives subsidies of $5.3 trillion a year; more than the total health spending of all the world’s governments. Read more. And the UK is the only G7 country to be increasing them. Read more.
  • Tax cuts in Budget 2016 mean the North Sea oil industry is predicted to be a £1 billion burden for the taxpayer next year. Read more.
  • The annual government grant to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is £2.25 billion. Divide that by 26.3 million households and you find that the average cost of dealing with nuclear waste is £86 per household. Read more.
  • Diesel generation was handed subsides of £175 million in December. Read more.
  • The government agreed in 2015:
    • £92.50 per MWh as a guaranteed price for power generated by Hinkley C new nuclear power station for 35 years (in negotiated deal). Read more.
    • £80 per MWh as a guaranteed price for power from wind and solar projects for 15 years (in a competitive auction). Read more
  • Costs for wind and solar have continued to drop since then. Good Energy recently announced they plan to build a wind farm with no subsidy, making onshore wind the only generation technology that can be built subsidy free. Read more.

Blaming the problems for British steel production on green measures is the latest in a long and dishonourable tradition of scaremongering about the cost of curbing pollution. Those interested in the history of this tradition can find more in the 2004 WWF report ‘Cry Wolf’.

Posted in Bath and West Community Energy, Energy.