UK Government ‘pays £6bn a year in subsidies to fossil fuel industry’

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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3 thoughts on “UK Government ‘pays £6bn a year in subsidies to fossil fuel industry’

  1. Barry Davies

    Well Fossil fuel provides much more than twice the amount of energy than renewables do, so realistically it should be receiving a greater proportion, after all there is no way presently that we could survive with only renewables.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’m not convinced of that. If the same effort went into renewable energy as goes into the polluting stuff, we might have a much better result. Or so it seems to me.

  2. John White

    I am not in the least surpised by this. Back in the 1980s I patented a hybrid system which reduced emissions by 30% , since which governments of all colours have spent an absolute fortune suppressing.

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