‘Mistake’ to weaken support for green energy

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Nick Clegg will today warn the Conservatives it would be a “huge mistake” to weaken Government support for the green energy industries poised to drive Yorkshire’s economic recovery.

The Deputy Prime Minister will use a keynote speech on the environment this morning to warn his coalition partners he will resist any attempt to cut support for renewable energy as the row over energy bills continues.

The Sheffield Hallam MP will also renew his attack on Labour’s proposal to freeze energy prices, warning the measure threatens green investment.

“Labour’s promise to temporarily freeze energy bills – as well as being a con – would also be a huge blow to our renewables sector, spooking investors and threatening billions of pounds’ worth of investment,” Mr Clegg will say.

The Humber area is expected to see huge economic benefits from the expansion of offshore wind in Britain, with thousands of turbines to be erected in the North Sea over the next decade. Firms such as Siemens are considering establishing turbine factories on either side of the Humber, creating thousands of new jobs.

But the Government’s support for renewable energy is in doubt, with David Cameron making clear he wants to see green taxes cut to help people reduce their fuel bills.

“The UK is already a world leader in offshore wind, but we cannot be complacent,” Mr Clegg will warn. “China, India, America, Germany, Brazil – the race is on for green global investment. If we want to keep up, our industries need maximum political support.

“My Coalition partners talk a lot about winning the global race. Well, this is one area where we are in pole position – and it would be a huge mistake to take our foot off the pedal now.”