British Government Scraps Climate Change Levy Exemption

BudgetUK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne confirmed Wednesday that his previously announced financial initiatives to revitalise the UK North Sea oil and gas industry will go ahead, and also said he would remove the climate change levy [exemption] in his first budget since the Conservatives won the UK general election in May. —Alliance News, 8 July 2015

Drax Group Plc, the utility converting the biggest U.K. coal station to burning wood pellets, plunged to its lowest ever after the government said clean power will have to start paying a climate-change tax. The stock tumbled 28 percent in London to the lowest since it started trading in 2005. Shares of Infinis Energy Plc, a Northampton-based developer of clean power listed in London, also slumped 8 percent to the lowest since November 2013. –Louise Downing, Bloomberg, 8 July 2015

The UK Government has been accused of making “obsessive attacks” on the renewables industry, with leaders upset ministers have “moved the goalposts again” in today’s Summer Budget. RenewableUK has lead complaints claiming George Osborne’s announcement to scrap the Climate  Change Levy  is another example of the government “changing the rules” just weeks after it was announced there would be an early clawback of the Renewables Obligation. RenewableUK’s Director of Policy, Dr Gordon Edge said it was the latest in a long line of “unfair, illogical and obsessive attacks” on the green energy industry. —ReNews, 8 July 2015

The UK’s renewable energy sector has attacked Government plans to change the rules governing the Climate Change Levy ‚Äì a measure which was originally designed to promote the generation of clean energy. RenewableUK, the trade association representing the wind, wave and tidal energy industries, strongly criticised the Chancellor’s announcement in his budget speech that he is retrospectively removing the exemption for green energy. This measure is due to come into effect on the 1st of August and according to the REA such snap changes undermine confidence in the UK from the finance community, as well as making renewables less attractive compared to fossil fuel generation. —Click Green, 8 July 2015

People have responded to Osborne’s Budget with protests up and down the country, and leading figures from the Green Parties were fast to criticise the measures included in the Budget. In her response to the Budget, Green MP Caroline Lucas said it was ‘cruel and counterproductive’ and a ‘serious blow’ for the fight against climate change. —Bright Green, 8 July 2015

Yorkshire’s biggest PLCs took a battering after the Budget with shares in Drax, the UK’s biggest power station, plunging to a record low after the Government said clean power will not be exempt from climate change tax. The shock news wiped 28 per cent off the North Yorkshire firm and will come as a heavy blow at a time when Drax, once the UK’s worst polluter, is switching to a much greener future burning biomass. It has already converted two of its six units to burn biomass and plans to bring a third online by 2016. —Yorkshire Post, 8 July 2015

The government says that it wants a sustainable, secure and affordable energy system. Unfortunately, week-by-week since the general election, and now with the budget, it has made statements or policy changes that take us further away from that goal, and put us increasingly out of step with the rest of the world. Government support for ideological ‘blue crap’ over rationality is putting the UK increasingly out of step with the global energy transformation. –Catherine Mitchell, The Guardian, 8 July 2015