Government squandering £42m renewables funding – Jo

The unspent money is intended to promote wave and tidal technologies

The Government has failed to spend any of the £42m budget it has allocated for the development of wave and tidal energy technologies, figures obtained by Jo Swinson have revealed.

Parliamentary questions found that:

· The entire £42m budget for the Wave and Tidal-stream Energy Demonstration Scheme – the Government’s measure for allowing marine technologies to progress through their early phase – has remained unspent since it was announced in 2004

· The associated £2m budget for monitoring the environmental impacts of wave and tidal projects has also remained entirely unspent

· Only around one fifth (£1.13m of a budget of £5.64m) of the available budget for infrastructure support has been spent; none of the available funding has been spent over the past year (2007-08)

Commenting, Jo Swinson said:

“These figures show the yawning gulf between rhetoric and reality when it comes to this Government’s record on renewable energy.

“Britain has world-leading potential when it comes to wave and tidal energy, yet the Government is sitting idly on the funding which the sector so desperately needs.

“How can the Government hope to meet its targets on renewable energy when it is not even capable of spending the modest funding it has set aside for wave and tidal technology?

“This is a vital time for the development of the renewable energy industry. Instead of spending so much time pushing its nuclear energy agenda, the Government should be focussing on getting funding for renewable technologies to where it’s needed.”

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