U.K. Says Green Subsidies Remain Intact Amid Bill Row

U.K. Energy Secretary Ed Davey reassured investors that renewable energy subsidies will remain intact after Prime Minister David Cameron ordered a review of green levies in household utility bills.

“The current review is not about changing investment incentives for renewables,” Davey said today at a conference attended by renewable industry representatives in Birmingham. “These are essential for investor confidence in the renewables sector and our commitments to a low-carbon economy.”

Davey sought to diffuse fears a review of environmental charges levied on domestic bills may weaken state aid to the industry. Cameron ordered the review last month after four of the six biggest energy suppliers raised prices in an effort to gain the political initiative after the opposition Labour Party promised to freeze power prices if elected in 2015.

“Let me reassure you as clearly and unequivocally as I can, the current review is not about changing investment incentives for renewables,” Davey said, addressing delegates including developers, financiers and manufacturers. “The level of support will remain, as planned and as published.”

Britain has pledged support for low-carbon electricity rising year-on-year to 7.6 billion pounds ($12.2 billion) in 2020. The U.K. is studying whether to fund green levies through general taxation instead of power bills, Energy Minister Michael Fallon said Oct. 30.

Private investors have outlined 31 billion pounds of renewable funding since 2010, Davey said today. He also announced more than 2.5 million pounds to fund four projects to reduce offshore wind costs.

(Government department corrects to withdraw earlier draft of speech.)
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