Monthly Archives: June 2013

There has been a lot of talk about subsidies for the renewables sector this week, so I thought it might be useful to ponder, for a moment, a world without subsidies. In this world, the energy mix might look different.  But the changes might not be the ones that critics of renewables subsidies would expect. Fossil fuels benefit from a $523bn (2011) global subsidy.  This is 500% more subsidy than the renewables… Read More

Did you forget to send a Father’s Day gift? Fear not, I have the very thing.  This brilliant idea could save you from a year of repentance and might even win a few brownie points for financial prudence (a highly valued skill in the eyes of all Dads). Instead of rushing to dispatch a flimsy token, this gift will make a real difference to a London community, and might just provide a… Read More

It’s a large scale infrastructure project with huge national significance that excites passionate debate for and against.  It is a key strategic planning decision that has been kicked around between politicians, the private sector and environmentalists for years, titillating engineers and blighting properties.  I could be describing Heathrow expansion plans, but all this applies equally to the Severn Barrage. The Barrage is to Wales and the South West what the Heathrow Third… Read More

The conclusion of the government’s consultation on planning guidance for onshore wind farms in England has thrown up some significant changes.  Here are my initial thoughts: – the idea of discounts on energy bills for communities living near wind farms is logical, simple, and personal.  It is a shame that it has taken so long for developers to offer this incentive.  But it will set an interesting precedent in planning  – should… Read More

As the Energy Bill  hots up this week, it is essential that the government keeps its head and resists calls for a new target of 50gCO2/kWh by 2030.  Here’s how I see it: Why now? – targets that attempt to centrally mandate a rapid scale-up of renewables should not be set until there is more certainty on grid resiliance, energy storage, CCS and demand management. – the problems of the UK’s planning… Read More