E.On boss calls for an end to green energy subsidies

Renewable news
Renewable news

The boss of the world largest utility company has called for an end to subsidies for green energy developments.

Johannes Teyssen, chief executive of the German company E.On, said mature technologies such as wind and solar power no longer needed special treatment.

He told the annual conference of the European electricity industry body, Eurelectric, that the only people blocking debate about ending financial aid were those who “just want to harvest subsidies without accountability”.

Anti-windfarm campaigners said Mr Teyssen’s comments piled pressure on the Scottish Government to rein back on its target to generate all of Scotland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

However, renewables industry bodies said while subsidies must eventually end, it would be a mistake to withdraw support right now.

Graham Lang, chairman of Scotland Against Spin (SAS), said “unlimited” public subsidies had created a “bloated, unsustainable monster”

He accused the wind industry of becoming expert in propaganda and lobbying, rather than developing technical innovation and efficiency.

“The real question here is how long the Scottish Government can cling on to a discredited renewables policy which is losing the support of both the public and investors,” he said.

Highland anti-windfarm campaigner Lyndsey Ward: “To blunder on with this, frankly, farcical wind policy shows no strength of government only weakness as they are clearly listening to those that the chief executive of E.On has accused of aiding energy market distortion by insisting these industries need subsidies to continue.”

Scottish Tory energy spokesman Murdo Fraser said it made no sense to continue throwing money as an “intermittent and unreliable” energy source.

“Even those in the energy sector realise that it is time for the gravy train to come to a halt,” he said.

Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said the costs of onshore wind and solar power were falling and would continue to do so.

“It’s a question of when, not if, they will be generating electricity without any financial support,” he said.

“It would be a mistake to withdraw all support now for wind and solar because we would simply have to replace them with more expensive forms of renewable electricity.”