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News of spending cutbacks have made depressing reading over the last six months as the government is seeking to rein in spending as a way of controlling spiraling national debt. Health, education, policing and defence have of course been at the forefront of controversy regarding spending reviews and the inevitable consequences which arise as a side effect. Now it is unfortunately renewable energy’s turn to feel the squeeze as some call for cut backs in green energy incentives.

At a time when all members of the coalition government are bemoaning cupboards barer than those of Old mother Hubbard it is perhaps not particularly surprising that Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has been urged to safeguard investments in British renewable energy.

The feed-in tariff which was introduced back in April works by offering guaranteed, premium rates for energy produced by small scale renewable generators. While Huhne has come out and said that, “There is no money left”, he has at least until now talked a good game about supporting green energy in this country. Feed-in tariffs have been absolutely crucial in solar pv taking off in the UK and the future success of UK solar undoubtedly relies on the existence of a strong tariff scheme.

Fearing cutbacks which would cause irreversible harm to burgeoning UK renewable energy businesses, Friends of the Earth (FOE) have carried out their own report designed to show that maintaining and encouraging a strong renewable energy industry has distinct advantages for the struggling e News of spending cutbacks have made depressing reading over the last six months as the government is seeking to rein in spending as a way of controlling spiraling national debt. Health, education, policing and defence have of course been at the forefront of controversy regarding spending reviews and the inevitable consequences which arise as a side effect. Now it is unfortunately renewable energy’s turn to feel the squeeze as some call for cut backs in green energy incentives.

At a time when all members of the coalition government are bemoaning cupboards barer than those of Old mother Hubbard it is perhaps not particularly surprising that Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has been urged to safeguard investments in British renewable energy.

The feed-in tariff which was introduced back in April works by offering guaranteed, premium rates for energy produced by small scale renewable generators. While Huhne has come out and said that, “There is no money left”, he has at least until now talked a good game about supporting green energy in this country. Feed-in tariffs have been absolutely crucial in solar pv taking off in the UK and the future success of UK solar undoubtedly relies on the existence of a strong tariff scheme.

Fearing cutbacks which would cause irreversible harm to burgeoning UK renewable energy businesses, Friends of the Earth (FOE) have carried out their own report designed to show that maintaining and encouraging a strong renewable energy industry has distinct advantages for the struggling economy.

Campaign director for FOE, Craig Bennett said,

“It’s absurd that the Treasury is even reviewing FIT payments because the scheme isn’t financed by taxpayers, and there is already a planned review in two years time. Huhne must stand firm and allow councils, communities and businesses to benefit from green energy revolution.”

The real benefits of feed-in tariffs will be put into perspective in a couple of years when we are able to retrospectively assess the growth of UK renewable investment and uptake compared with our European counterparts. While there are some who may argue that a cash strapped government could better spend its money elsewhere, it is hard to deny that a strong green energy industry would be a vital both for revitalising the economy and helping homeowners make savings on utility bills.

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