Britain’s renewable energy industry was left largely dissatisfied with measures set out in this month’s Budget speech.
The sector had been pressing the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, to do more to support businesses and, indeed, address their criticisms about some existing policies.
But many of those who have spoken out since the fiscal statement are very disappointed with the contents of the red box, arguing that ministers’ priorities continue to be skewed towards non-renewable markets.
Paul Barwell, the chief executive of the Solar Trade Association, said: “We are dismayed that responsible organisations that use their own rooftop solar are still facing an extreme business rate rise of up to 800 per cent from April.
“Some fossil fuel technologies are already exempt from business rates, and…the Chancellor again took special care of oil and gas. The Chancellor says he wants the UK at the ‘cutting edge of the global economy’- his tax policies for energy risk the opposite.”
James Court, the head of policy and external affairs at the Renewable Energy Association, added: “This Budget was at best a placeholder for the renewables industry, resulting in more questions than answers.
“This Budget has created new uncertainty around the levy control framework beyond 2021. The industry was expecting an announcement regarding the future budget levels and structure but this has been delayed and instead we face a new regime and no clarity on the proposed new ‘set of controls’.”
And Trevor Hutchings, the director of advocacy at the charity WWF, said: “This Budget was a missed opportunity to embrace the potential of green growth to boost our economy and protect our environment.
“The UK government could have used the Budget as a spring-board to generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs, create new market opportunities….”