Sammy Wilson, the Finance Minister of Stormont, has recently made news by stating that the UK energy policy will increase debts among its citizens. The comment was made just after the government’s White Paper Energy Policy was published. This might just come as a blow to the citizens, who are trying to get debt free.
The UK undertook the Energy White Paper policy to fulfill its responsibility towards the environment. This new policy aims to create a low carbon economy for the country. By the year 2050, UK plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60%. The country will try to bring down its use of fossil fuels, and extract energy out of fuel cells, offshore winds and tidal powers. However, they will need to develop their infrastructure even more, to harness energy from such non conventional and renewable energy resources.
Sammy Wilson emphasized that the costs for producing energy will thus grow due to the new policy. According to him, the UK government’s aim to produce 20% of the energy from renewable sources by 2020 will cause a financial strain on the citizens only. He also expressed his concern that the electricity users will have to pay more for the surplus costs, if by 2050, 80% of the carbon dioxide emissions have to be reduced.
He even stated that the cost for infrastructure development will be extracted out of the UK citizens only. The new energy policy will necessitate setting up of new wind turbines, costing around 110 billion pounds, along with additional costs for transmission grids
This will supposedly result in an increase in the price of electricity. According to Mr. Wilson, the consumers will have to bear the costs and this might cause them financial trouble.
The Finance Minister has brought attention to the fact that the UK economy might suffer due to this new energy policy. The UK government must have overlooked the possible impact of the White Paper Energy Policy on the country’s economic situation as well as on the individual finances.
GMB, the worker’s union for energy sector, also voiced the same concern as Mr. Sammy Wilson. They also expressed their unease that the government’s decision to use clean electricity might come along with pricey electric bills, which the consumers will have to pay out of their own pocket. Gary Smith, the GMB National Officer for energy, has stated that “The Government needs to be totally frank and honest about what will happen to energy bills.
Earlier, the Secretary of State for Energy, Chris Huhne had also confirmed that the government’s decision to cut down carbon emissions by 2030, will cost each household at least 160 pounds per year. Mr. Smith stated that the expenses might be more than that.
By: Kevin Craig