• Atmospheric CO2 /Parts per Million /Annual Averages /Data Source: noaa.gov

  • 1980338.91ppm

  • 1981340.11ppm

  • 1982340.86ppm

  • 1983342.53ppm

  • 1984344.07ppm

  • 1985345.54ppm

  • 1986346.97ppm

  • 1987348.68ppm

  • 1988351.16ppm

  • 1989352.78ppm

  • 1990354.05ppm

  • 1991355.39ppm

  • 1992356.1ppm

  • 1993356.83ppm

  • 1994358.33ppm

  • 1995360.18ppm

  • 1996361.93ppm

  • 1997363.04ppm

  • 1998365.7ppm

  • 1999367.8ppm

  • 2000368.97ppm

  • 2001370.57ppm

  • 2002372.59ppm

  • 2003375.14ppm

  • 2004376.96ppm

  • 2005378.97ppm

  • 2006381.13ppm

  • 2007382.9ppm

  • 2008385.01ppm

  • 2009386.5ppm

  • 2010388.76ppm

  • 2011390.63ppm

  • 2012392.65ppm

  • 2013395.39ppm

  • 2014397.34ppm

  • 2015399.65ppm

  • 2016403.09ppm

  • 2017405.22ppm

  • 2018407.62ppm

  • 2019410.07ppm

  • 2020412.44ppm

  • 2021414.72ppm

  • 2022418.56ppm

  • 2023421.08ppm

News & Views

Renewable energy revenue cap fails to win over industry or investors

UK government proposal has left energy providers ‘deeply worried’ and investors looking to Europe.

Content Tags: Energy  Renewables  UK 

Renewable energy producers could have their revenues capped under a UK government proposal but critics have claimed the move would stifle investment and innovation within the energy sector and risk undermining net-zero efforts.

With the UK government in turmoil as a new leader of the Conservative Party (and thus prime minister) is decided, few details have emerged on the expected price limit but ministers previously said that a consultation would be launched in the new year.

Climate Minister Graham Stuart stated the cap would “help pay for the cost of other schemes to reduce customers’ energy costs”, but industry voices and investors say the proposal will skew investment flows away from renewable opportunities and towards the oil and gas sector, all the while, denying the means required to achieve net-zero targets.

Windfall on wind

The UK government’s proposal comes amid competing tensions within the energy sector.

A windfall tax on the UK oil and gas sector was introduced in May, described as a 25% ‘Energy Profits Levy’, and touted to raise around £5bn on the back of extraordinary profits from companies such as Shell and BP.

Meanwhile, the government won a parliamentary vote against introducing a ban on fracking for shale gas – a topic seen as a bellwether for the government’s commitment to net-zero objectives.

Underpinning this is sky-high energy prices, channelling outsized revenues to both renewable and fossil fuel energy producers.

As such, the government opted to target these producers, albeit with differing mechanisms.

The UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said: “Low-carbon electricity generators are therefore benefiting from abnormally high prices, while consumers are having to pay significantly more for energy generated from renewables and nuclear, even though they often cost less to produce,”

But the proposed arrangement means the government is creating an unlevel playing field for energy producers, says Nina Skorupska, chief executive of the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology.

“Any measures on the renewable energy and clean technology generators must be commensurate with the arrangements on oil and gas companies, which face a 25% profit, not revenue, levy but one they can offset against investment,” she says.

RenewableUK chief executive Dan McGrail echoes this sentiment. He says the cap will act as a “100% windfall tax on renewables’ revenue above a certain level,” contrasting the excess oil and gas profits taxed at 25%.

He adds it “risks skewing investment towards the fossil fuels that have caused this energy crisis.”

Those facing the operational risks of mounting energy prices are also sceptical of the proposed cap.

Jeff Dewing, CEO of estates operator Cloudfm, says ensuring a fair price for energy to consumers “is undoubtedly a noble cause,” but a “sensible observer would note that preferential treatment should be given to the nascent renewable sector and nuclear energy”.

He says additional taxation should be “levied against more directly damaging sources of energy like oil, gas and coal”.

Industry giants and small businesses alike have too voiced their opposition. Keith Anderson, chief executive of ScottishPower said he was “deeply worried” over the proposal adding it was “disappointing that such a significant market intervention by the government has come with so little detail”.

Solar Energy UK chief executive Chris Hewett says the industry is “concerned” about the lack of details and haste of the plan, particularly for small generators that have been excluded from ministerial discussions so far.


Capping revenue of low-carbon energy when they can provide a cheaper and low-carbon emission alternative to gas is not helping finance the transition and likely makes the UK’s net-zero commitment more difficult to attain.

Sophie Haas, head of sustainable investing, JP Morgan Private Bank

Investor ambiguity

The government must look to policy moves that provide markets and investors with reassurances, says Sophie Haas, head of sustainable investing at JP Morgan Private Bank. She says policy support for the energy transition is “essential to increase the adoption rate of renewables”.

“We have seen it in Europe with the announcement of the REPowerEU Action Plan shortly after the beginning of the war in Ukraine, and the Inflation Reduction Act in the US with $369bn earmarked for energy and climate putting the US back to track to meet its Paris Agreement pledges and cut its carbon emissions,” she says.

Haas adds that the move to cap revenues of low-carbon energy producers risks taking the UK in “the opposite direction” to nations in Europe and may “discourage investment in additional renewables capacity”, which is “critically needed to act on climate change and to secure energy sovereignty”.

Weakened net-zero ambitions

Beyond risking investment in the UK’s renewable energy capacity, the government’s proposal may undermine net-zero efforts, Haas says.

“Capping revenue of low-carbon energy when they can provide a cheaper and low-carbon emission alternative to gas is not helping finance the transition and likely makes the UK’s net-zero commitment more difficult to attain.”

“The longer we delay climate action, the costlier it will be,” she adds.

More broadly, Haas points to other plans by the new government to ban solar panels on farmland while seeking to allow new fracking projects.

As such, the cohort of issues risks “taking the UK further away from its commitment to decarbonise all sectors of the economy and reach net zero by 2050”.

Content Tags: Energy  Renewables  UK 

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