You have to pinch yourself when the government announces another new subsidy for the fossil fuel industry, not only because they so recently said that renewable energy should stand on its own two feet, but also because they’re announcing this just days before the latest climate conference in Paris – at which world leaders will gather to try and hammer out a global deal to reduce emissions. To reduce emissions, we need to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Our government is completely out of touch on this issue.
A leaked letter from Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd, seen by The Ecologist shows that the Government’s public position that we are going to meet our legally binding renewables target – is not the truth. On the contrary the government clearly believes we will miss the target and Rudd discusses various options for making up the shortfall – none of which appear to be viable, by her own assessment. The one option not discussed is the reinstatement of support for renewable energy… instead Rudd appears to pin her hopes on the support for renewable heat not also being cut.
The ‘green energy austerity’ of this government is a political choice. It’s not driven by logic or economics, but ideology.
Around 1,000 jobs were lost last month as one of Britain’s biggest solar companies went into administration – a direct result of the government’s slash and burn of green policies. There’ll be more to come as the impacts of recent announcements begin to bite.
The irony is that this came in the same week as a new report, from Bloomberg, confirmed that renewable energy is the cheapest form of energy we can build. This is the latest of many reports that show just how illogical the government’s approach to energy policy is, and just how much the renewable sector has to offer.
Around 25% of the UK’s power now comes from renewable sources – an indigenous energy supply that creates no pollution, is immune to global commodity price rises, enables us to hit climate change targets and creates jobs and industry right here in Britain. (more…)
We’ve been a bit busy recently and haven’t been able to blog about this dire situation but Jonathon Porritt wrote this one, which pretty much sums up exactly how we feel about it. Reproduced here with his permission. Thanks Jonathon.
Things go from bad to worse on the renewable energy front.
1. Even those who are accustomed to George Osborne’s hostility to the renewables industry were astonished by his announcement in the Budget on Wednesday that renewable energy would no longer be exempt from the Climate Change Levy – this being one of the measures the Government uses to discourage the use of fossil fuels! This will cost the industry £3.9bn between now and 2018. Shares in renewable energy companies plunged.
In almost the same breath, Osborne confirmed further subsidies for oil and gas companies operating in the North Sea. And it is understood that there will soon be further measures to encourage the use of fracking. (more…)
David Cameron’s remarks yesterday to the liaison committee of MPs about renewable energy might just play a big part in his downfall at the general election.
His comments were contradictory at best, they laid bare once again the monumental lie that was his promise to lead the greenest government ever, and – perhaps more importantly – ignored a growing tide of feeling in Britain that we need to properly tackle climate change and embrace renewable energy.
Cameron is really out of step with the country on green issues.
This is the year in which membership of the Green Party has doubled; the year in which the IPCC made it clearer than ever that we have to completely give up fossil fuels by 2050 or face catastrophic climate consequences; the year in which climate change made itself more than evident as temperatures in Europe hit their highest since the 1500s. (more…)
We’ve had a policy in place for some 12 months now, to stop finding and submitting new wind sites into planning in England and instead to focus our efforts on Scotland – for the reasons set out in the article, it’s become very difficult in England, to the point that we were wasting time and money to a degree we could no longer accept. (more…)
I was doing an interview for ITV’s Tonight programme a couple of weeks ago, the show went out last night. I’ve not seen it yet, and don’t know what parts made it to the final cut, but it was a good discussion and it left me feeling that I should try and pull together the main elements of that conversation – they seemed so relevant and current.
The central thrust of the questioning was about the cost of green energy, or green crap as Cameron infamously has it – its impact on our energy bills and whether it’s the right thing to do as energy bills continually rise and become more unaffordable. It’s essentially the narrative of a number of politicians and media outlets of the past months and years – and it’s based on myth and propaganda more than fact. (more…)
May you live in interesting times is the apocryphal Chinese curse supposedly reserved for one’s enemies. In the energy industry right now, we certainly do.
The referral of the sector to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is just the latest interesting scene in a long running drama. It’s a drama that really began twenty years ago with privatisation: an experiment that has failed to deliver (like all privatisations, arguably) and is clearly not up to the very significant challenges ahead. (more…)
About this time last year, we launched our first ecobond – a fairly radical idea at the time.
We had three principle aims:
To give our customers the chance to share in the financial benefits of our work and the green energy revolution generally, without having to put things on their roof tops (which doesn’t work for everyone).
To cut out the middlemen bankers who generally charge much more to borrowers than they pay to savers.
And to raise new sources of finance to speed up the rate at which we can build new sources of green energy. Bridging our ‘funding gap’.
And when we launched it this time last year we were both excited and a little anxious, as to how it might be received. (more…)
This blog is about answers to the big questions - how will we keep the lights on, what kind of cars will we drive (will we drive?) and how will we feed ourselves - in a post oil world, and a world where we can't afford to keep burning things and throwing things away. Energy, Transport and Food are the three big issues.