Renewable stocks slide as tax exemption is scrapped

Suzie Neuwirth
ANYONE wondering whether Prime Minister David Cameron really told his aides to “cut the green crap” in 2013 may feel more certain after yesterday’s Budget, which scrapped a renewable power exemption from a climate change tax.

FTSE 250-listed Drax, which converts “dirty” coal into cleaner biomass, saw its share price plunge more than 28 per cent, while smaller renewable energy generator Infinis plummeted over eight per cent.

The change, effective from 1 August, will wipe £50m off Drax’s core earnings by 2017, according to Goldman Sachs.

The Climate Change Levy was introduced in 2001 as a tax charged on energy used by businesses – green energy sources were exempt in order to encourage industries to cut their carbon emissions. But yesterday chancellor George Osborne called the immunity “out-dated”.