RenewableUK responds to Dieter Helm’s tidal lagoon comment

Jennifer Webber, Renewable UK’s Director of External Affairs, has responded to the comment made by Oxford professor Dieter Helm on tidal lagoon projects.

As announced earlier, in the paper ‘British energy policy – what happens next?’ Dieter Helm proposes to DECC to avoid supporting expensive projects such as tidal lagoons.

He also proposes that DECC should replace Contracts for Difference (CFD) scheme with fixed priced contracts, what would result in renewables competing with each other.

The competition would eliminate the expensive offshore wind, according to Dieter Helm.

In response to the paper Jennifer Webber said:

“Professor Helm ignores the many benefits of renewables and exaggerates their associated costs. Wind energy alone generated 10 percent of the entire nation’s electricity needs in 2014, and costs 7 pence a day on household bills. A small price to pay for the switch from dirty fossil fuels to modern, clean sources of energy.

“He also ignores the significant cost reductions, which have taken place across all renewable technologies in recent years, an admirable achievement for such new industries. This has, in fact, been aided by the Government’s competitive auction process, something the Professor wants to scrap.

“He seems to be in favour of maintaining the status quo; extending the life of old gas plants rather than embracing innovative projects like Swansea Bay tidal lagoon, which will generate clean electricity on a predictable basis for 120 years and attract millions of pounds in investment to the UK.”