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Britain extends scheme to help energy-hungry industries pay for power

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By Reuters
Britain extends scheme to help energy-hungry industries pay for power
Britain extends scheme to help energy-hungry industries pay for power   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2022

LONDON – Britain has extended a scheme to help energy-intensive industries such as steel manufacturing cope with soaring electricity costs, the government said on Friday.

Many businesses struggled with high energy bills last year leading some to curtail production and energy costs have reached new highs this year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

British businesses also typically pay higher electricity costs than their European counterparts, partly because British power generators are subject to higher carbon costs than those in Europe and also because gas plays a large role in its generation mix.

“The Government recognises that UK industrial electricity prices are higher than those of other countries and today’s commitment will address this,” a statement from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said.

The Energy Intensive Industries support scheme, which the government said had provided more than 2 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) in support since 2013, will be extended by three years and the amount companies can claim will be increased.

“This package will ensure much-needed relief for electricity costs remains in place to help protect British industry from volatile global gas markets,” Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said in a statement.

Full details including eligibility would be published in due course, BEIS said.

Britain on Thursday published a wider energy security strategy including plans to increase offshore wind and nuclear power generation and launch new oil and gas licenses to help reduce the country’s reliance on energy imports.

($1 = 0.7667 pounds)