by Jerome a Paris
Mon Jun 13th, 2011 at 09:30:42 AM EST
UK faces job losses as businesses threaten to flee abroad to escape green energy levies
Sir Roger Carr warns in an interview that the Coalition must give "some sort of support" over rising energy costs to UK manufacturers or else risk seeing businesses relocate abroad with the consequential loss of jobs.
"Not every country in the world has the same commitment to climate change [as the UK] and therefore you may feel commercially disadvantaged," Sir Roger says, adding: "That gives you cause for thought as to where you want to invest."
His comments – ahead of a CBI energy conference on Tuesday – come amid growing concern over the cost of renewable energy subsidies and so-called 'green stealth taxes'.
The article references yet another forthcoming book (unorigially called the "Green Mirage") by an astroturfer lobbyist (from the Orwellian-sounding anti-wind Renewable Energy Foundation
) which makes claims of costs in the hundred billion pound range for the UK renewable energy policies between now and 2030; it follows on the heels of other similar claims by other industrialists (see for instance 'EU climate policies are driving smelters out of Europe'
) and a broader ongoing assault against Germany's parallel efforts to move away from nuclear energy (as discussed on ET here
While somewhat understandable when coming from energy-intensive sectors like metallurgy (but shouldn't the solution be to tax imports of metals from countries that do not include the cost of carbon in the price of their energy?) or from the incumbent utilities (which find renewables hard work), it appears strangely misguided from the CBI and other similar organisations. Their complaint about price increases is especially strange as the main effects of renewables on power prices are (i) to bring market prices down via the merit order effect and (ii) to bring predictability as renewable energy costs are known today for very long periods. Most businesses fear uncertainty, and here they have a wonderful source of certainty and stability for the very long term, something that should help investment rather than hinder it!
One has to wonder if such campaigns against renewable energy do not hide less honorable intentions (such as fossil fuel or nuclear industries seeking special treatment)... but such de facto blackmail should not be tolerated by any government - and in this case should be laughed away, as the number of jobs created by the renewable energy should easily match and overtake those lost in energy-intensive (and labor-poor) industries...