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Poll after poll the data has shown that the UK’s switch to clean electricity chimes with the  public.  Here are the latest figures published this month: 65% in favour of continuing support for the wind industry. 76% in favour of financial support for tidal power; and 79% in favourable to continued support for solar power. The survey was produced by YouGov for the Sunday Times, which has taken the temperature of public… Read More

After all the talk of energy shortages and black-outs over the past week, I thought it’s time to take a more positive look at the energy policy horizon.  I’ve picked out a couple of highlights that might help us keep the faith through the long nights huddled around candles rubbing flints together: i) London Array – the world’s biggest offshore wind farm – was officially opened today by David Cameron.  It’s only… 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

It was no lesser authority than Kenny Rogers who revealed in his 1978 country classic that ‘Every gambler knows; the secret to surviving is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep’.   It is a logic that has been whispered around card tables and hollered at barn dances from Kent to Kentucky ever since.  But today saw perhaps its most unusual application to date.  Forget the precautionary principle or sustainable… Read More

You don’t need to buy The Daily Mail to get hold of the priceless banter on its opinion pages;  it shouts abuse at you across the newsagent; it bellows out bile from petrol station forecourts; it downloads its distress onto your smartphone.  It’s an addictive dose of comedy, parody and parallel reality.   One editorial column caught my eye recently, included the following line: ‘in the depths of this rapidly worsening economic crisis……this…….. Read More

There is a radical idea doing the rounds. So radical in fact that in years gone by, earlier forms of the idea have brought down governments, destroyed political parties, even brought the country to the brink of civil war. It’s explosive stuff.  Political dynamite. Being too technical to fit into an abusive UKIP tweet means it has passed the local elections by. But if the Kippers only knew it was about a… Read More

BBC political editor Nick Robinson characteristically signed off his report on the death of Margaret Thatcher today by trying to sum up the Iron Lady with one word. I, perhaps simplistically, had expected him to say ‘Thatcherism’.   But Nick has too much brainpower trapped inside his encyclopaedic-earthworm head to waste licence-fee payer’s money by stating the bleeding obvious. He chose instead to encapsulate Thatcher with the word ‘belief’. My only complaint with… Read More

I’m finding talk of 2030 a little unnerving.  In 17 years I will be nearing 50 and my 3 month old daughter will be learning to drive. I’ll be into corderoys, Christmas-jumpers and Classic FM, she’ll have swapped her baby gro for a onesie, her dummie for a tongue piercing and her BCG jab for a tattoo. Yet, there is hope that some things will be brighter in 2030.  And (to a… Read More

Of the three main political parties, the Lib Dems are generally considered the greenest.  The Green Book, launched on Monday, sets out a suite of environmental policy ideas, arguments and analysis that seek to build on that platform and further embed the agenda for ‘green growth’ within the party’s 2015 manifesto. The stated aim of the book is to offer a ‘fundamentally different approach to economic and social policy’ weaving a green… Read More

Offsetting is not everyone’s preferred form of environmental action.   But when you run the biggest mechanism for generating offsets on the planet, you think you might have bought in. Not so. The UN operates (through the UNFCCC) the largest and most successful offsetting mechanism known as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).  It allows developed world emitters to invest in developing world clean technology projects. This has two positives – reducing the… Read More