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Public Cuts Won't Hit UK Green Energy Targets: Huhne

Date: 20-Oct-10
Country: UK
Author: Kwok W. Wan

Britain's coalition government will stick to its promise to be the greenest ever despite huge cuts in public spending, Secretary for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Chris Huhne told Reuters on Tuesday.

Government departments have been told to cut their budgets by 25 to 40 percent over the next four years to help reduce the national deficit, with the results of the spending review due on Wednesday.

The review could impact funding for renewables energy schemes such as an offshore wind port infrastructure competition and solar power feed-in tariffs.

"We're not going to be put off by the small matter of the public spending review," Huhne said on the sidelines of the European Future Energy Forum conference.

But he declined to comment on whether the 60 million pound ($94.69 million) port competition would go ahead, despite media reports that it would survive the cuts.

The previous Labour government introduced the port fund to develop docks to handle offshore wind farm construction, with turbine makers Siemens and General Electric citing the subsidy as one of the factors behind investing nearly 200 million pounds in UK manufacturing bases.

Huhne's department announced on Monday it would not fund the Severn tidal power project and also cut the number of potential new nuclear site to eight from 10.

(Editing by James Jukwey)

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