Alex Meredith

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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

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

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

Last week’s by-election result has thrown the cat amongst the political pigeons, and the spirit of revolution has made it through to the Observer’s business pages.  Citing the refusal of Centrica to use its enormous profits to build more gas-fired power stations in the short term,  today’s Business Leader asks the surprising rhetorical: “Should not public money go into….a publicly owned utility?”. I had thought that agitating for nationalisation was something the Guardian… Read More

Decarbonisation is an ugly, overweight word.  On twitter it is cut to ‘decarb’; like a statutory pasta rationing regime.  But for green groups, it’s the rationing of targets not tagliatelle that is causing stomachs to rumble. Not satisfied with emissions targets for 2050 and 2020, binding carbon budgets, EU renewables targets and global emissions pledges, some environmentalists are demanding another helping of targets.  Or perhaps this is the icing on a layered… Read More

DECC’s gas strategy is a huge gamble for the UK energy consumer.   The Government just took your future energy bills and placed them on a horse named Shale. Whichever way you cut it, the Gas Strategy will see the UK’s medium term energy future hugely reliant on gas power stations – up to 37GW.  Running that amount of plant means a lot of carbon dioxide pumping into the atmosphere, but it also  means… Read More