George Osborne visiting the Montrose Platform in the North Sea in 2013 Getty Images

George Osborne visiting the Montrose Platform in the North Sea in 2013 Getty Images

The Government gives the fossil-fuel industry nearly £6bn a year in subsidies, almost twice the financial support it provides to renewable-energy providers, according to new research.

A study by the Overseas Development Institute think-tank challenges the popular conception that green energy such as wind and solar power requires disproportionate taxpayer support.

Britain gave an average of £5.9bn worth of subsidies a year to fossil-fuel firms such as BP and Shell in 2013 and 2014, most of it in the form of tax breaks to help boost declining North Sea production, according to the institute.

In addition, the UK has introduced a new North Sea tax break this year that the Government estimates will be worth £1.7bn over the next five years.

By contrast, renewable-energy companies received £3.5bn of subsidies in 2014‑15 – a figure that will decline in the coming years after the Government announced it would end subsidies for new onshore wind farms and slash support for solar power.

Source: UK Government ‘pays £6bn a year in subsidies to fossil fuel industry’ | UK Politics | News | The Independent

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