Letters October 22: Steel collapse link to electricity costs and EU

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From: Jane Collins, Ukip MEP for Yorkshire.

WITH the closure of Ferrybridge Power Station, Kellingley Colliery and now steel industry plants across the region, the unions need to focus on the reasons behind companies losing money rather than just asking Government to spend more.

The EU directive on renewable energy has had a huge impact on power generation and the cost of electricity and gas. Because power generation is expensive and inefficient, huge subsidies are needed to keep these wind turbines and solar farms going – and that’s been lumped on top of energy bills.

When Tata Steel announced the closure of their Rotherham site in July, they specifically mentioned the high cost of electricity. Now we hear that another 1,000 jobs are set to go in Scunthorpe, a devastating loss for the local community.

Of course there are other factors such as the strength of the pound – but who’d invest in the euro when it’s a doomed political currency? A study for the British government put the lifetime cost of meeting the renewables target at up to €351.7bn (£290bn) for the whole EU, including a bill of €93.1bn for the UK. Most of that cost burden has been picked up by consumers, contributing to a marked rise in the cost of living. We must protect our industry.