MEP to use EU competition law to challenge ‘assault’ on renewables industry

MEP challenges ‘assault’ on renewable industry through EU competition law

Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, is asking the European Commission whether recent proposed changes to wind and solar subsidies and planning laws that will affect renewable energy generators breach EU competition law. Dr Scott Cato believes that the decision to impose the Climate Change Levy (CCL) on renewable generators is ‘illogical and punitive’ and that enhanced powers to challenge planning for windfarms is not matched by similar powers to challenge fracking. She also questions why subsidies for wind turbines are being removed and subsidies for solar power being reviewed while huge subsidies for nuclear power continue. Molly said:

“The government’s misinformed and ideological opposition to renewable technologies is destroying thousands of potential jobs. Member states have the right to choose their energy mix, but Treaty law suggests this must be done within a framework of fair competition. I believe that a desire to pander to the fossil fuel and nuclear dinosaur industries is distorting the market and undermining the renewables industry.”

In a written question to the Competition Commissioner, which is also signed by her colleagues Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East and Jill Evans MEP of Plaid Cymru, Molly challenges whether the Commission was consulted by the UK government over proposed changes to the CCL and whether the freedom for the government to choose its energy mix is in conflict with its obligations to meet mandatory carbon reduction targets. Molly concluded:

“I am hoping that the Commission fully acknowledge the terrible negative impacts these policy changes will have on renewable generators and that these changes can be challenged and reversed through unfair competition rules.”