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Green energy reforms will put us all in debt, says Sammy Wilson

By Amanda Poole

Obsession with green policy will put us all in the red according to the Stormont Finance Minister.

Sammy Wilson's comments come after the White Paper on Energy policy was published by the Government on Tuesday.

Mr Wilson said: "This government is obsessed with its pursuit of a 'low carbon energy policy' to the extent that it has closed its eyes to the economic consequences which will impact on every individual in the UK.

"Its aim of 20% of electricity produced from renewable sources by 2020 and reducing CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050 is impossible to meet without imposing billions of pounds of additional costs on electricity users."

Mr Wilson said the policy will require back-up power stations using fossil fuels, subsidies of at least 100% per unit of electricity produced by wind turbines and £110bn of spending on building wind turbines and the new transmission infrastructure to link them into the grid.

"The money for most of this will come from higher electricity bills or taxpayers. No wonder the wind industry is rubbing its hands in glee at the prospect of such a windfall for its private investors," the DUP man said.

The Finance Minister said the effect will be a increase in the price of electricity bills and further fuel poverty.

He added: "Energy intensive industries will go out of business as they become less competitive internationally since few other countries in the world if indeed any are embarking down this road.

"Leaving aside the impact of intrusive wind turbines on some of our best scenic areas, this so called green policy is going to put individuals, industry and the UK economy into the red."

Mr Wilson's fears were echoed by one of the country's main unions.

GMB, the union for workers in the energy sector said it also fears the electricity market reforms will lead to massive increases in household energy bills.

Gary Smith, GMB National Officer for energy, said: "The Government needs to be totally frank and honest about what will happen to energy bills.

"The move to clean electricity will be massively expensive for consumers.

"Government also need to face up to the fact that if electricity is used instead of gas for space heating this in itself will lead to massive increases in bills for households."

Mr Smith added the claim by Secretary of State for Energy Chris Huhne that the average price rise per household will be only £160 is untrue.

Background

Energy secretary Chris Huhne has outlined radical reform of the electricity market including a fixed price for low carbon power. Mr Huhne said he wants to build a cleaner future and replace a quarter of existing power stations by 2030. The Department for Energy and Climate Change says its plans would cost each household £160 per year by 2030.

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