Presentation on theme: "The UK Renewable Energy Policy Experience: Failure to Learn or Political Intransigence? Dr. Peter Connor May 9 th 2008."— Presentation transcript:
The UK Renewable Energy Policy Experience: Failure to Learn or Political Intransigence? Dr. Peter Connor May 9 th 2008
UK RE Policy History Focus on market based instruments. Policy focussed on least cost deployment with a firm belief that competition could achieve this. Little focus on establishing industry, amassing knowledge capital or other RE goals.
UK RE Policy History R&D Grants NFFO Renewables Obligation
Policy Options not Adopted in the UK Tariff mechanisms Soft loans Use obligations
Some General Conclusions on Sound RE Policy Powerful Persistent Predictable Need to create stable and transparent market conditions. Failure to do means higher costs
Problems with the RO Does not address R&D Provision Lack of security/stability in the RE Market drives up the cost of capital and thus project and generation costs. Regulatory risk relating to ongoing changes in the RO. Changes – and even potential changes – to the RO can reduce stability and impact on the economics of RE generators significantly.
Problems with the RO Limited availability of finance Currently focuses support on the most mature technologies, thus the RO is struggling to drive technologies seen as essential to meeting UK RE targets, i.e. offshore wind and biomass Installation lags targets as a fundamental aspect of the mechanism.
Problems with the RO It costs more than the alternatives. Evidence that tariff mechanism delivers electricity more cheaply. EEG (German tariff): 2.6p/kWh. RO : 3.2p/kWh This seems to be at odds with one fundamental justification for the RO, that competition would make it the cheapest way to get RE. Source: DEFRA/BERR/Ernst & Young
Learning Opportunities Various reviews of the RO, including the major one currently under way. Considerable feedback from various actors over extended period. Lessons learned?
Where next? The ongoing development of the RO Banding? The Renewables Transport Fuel Obligation A Renewables Heat Obligation?
Renewables Transport Fuel Obligation Similar form of mechanism to the RO Rapid introduction to meet EU targets Sufficient consideration of practicalities?
Renewable Heat Obligation Currently under consideration by the Government. Similar form of mechanism to the RO. Evidence suggests that a heat obligation will mean higher unit costs than a tariff mechanism.
Renewable Heat Obligation Justified on the grounds of cultural compatibility? Seems to be at odds with the fundamental aims of adopting a market based mechanism, i.e. to minimise costs. More complex than the RO and more expensive to operate.
Renewable Heat Obligation Would appear to be less grounds for an obligation for heat than electricity. So why are the Government so keen on this as an option? What does this imply for future of renewable support in the UK?
Obligations Why does the government persevere with this type of mechanism? Staying on message? Failure to engage with the evidence? Cant admit theyre wrong?
Implications for Wind Energy? Likelihood of any change soon? Will wind be worse off as a result of staying with the RO? Perhaps not. Will consumers be worse off? Could more wind be funded more efficiently? Would this mean more wind? More or less profit for developers?
Conclusions? Need for the government to face up to the fact that the RO is not the right mechanism for effective support of RE at current stage in development. More consideration could also be given to how policy might better serve industry.