Energy reform costs ‘not high’

A SUFFOLK entrepreneur has welcomed the Government’s pro-green technology Energy Bill proposals and accused those opposed to it of “scaremongering”.

Steve Sharratt, chief executive of Bio Group , which operates in Suffolk, launched a scathing attack on those opposed to the bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech last week.

His own company creates and manages a network turning food waste into renewable energy, and designed, built and operates Adnams Bio Energy in Southwold.

“The announcements made for renewable energy and green technology in the Queen’s Speech are to be welcomed, not derided.” he said.

“We have no alternative but to promote a growth based agenda. The low carbon economy must be a fundamental element of future growth and prosperity with a focus on green jobs, green energy, green technology and green exports.”

The bill will include reforms to the electricity market to encourage more investment in low carbon generation and clean energy. It will put more restrictions on the emissions of new coal plants and will create a new independent regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation, funded by the industry. It is expected to become law in 2013.

“There has been vocal opposition to the Bill, and so-called vested interests insist on attempting to undermine our future. Scaremongering based on wildly inaccurate claims about the costs of renewables goes on unabated but it must be challenged.”

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Some opposition was prompted by information from The Committee of Climate Change which suggested the cost of householders achieving the 2020 renewables targets will be around �100 per annum.

“For some people �100 is a lot of money but for many it’s not.” said Mr Sharratt. “Responsible society means two things. Firstly, that we meet the cost. Secondly, that we quickly work out how to ensure that those who can’t afford to pay, don’t have to, and those of us that can, bear the cost.”

“It is the equivalent of �1.92 a day. That’s the cost of half a pint of beer to secure our energy future – not just because of Climate Change but also because as a nation we must secure our own future energy supplies.”

In Portugal, more than 60% of energy provision will be from renewables by 2020 with the capital cost largely paid for by the target date, he pointed out.