Alex Meredith

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People can get a bit fed up at this time of year – fed up with Winter, fed up with work, fed up with cutesie adverts trying to get you to part with your hard-earned cash.  Fear not, Dave is on your side. Our benevolent leader, our friend in our time of need, our man-of-the-people Prime Minister, feels our pain. Dave listens.  Dave gets it.  Dave knows we’re fed up.  So last… Read More

Remember ‘Vote Blue, Go Green’?  David Cameron promised to bring a progressive environmental agenda with him into Downing Street.  After four years in government Cameron has been reported to want to ‘cut the green crap’ and has allowed the Treasury to act accordingly. Quite a turnaround. The latest evidence of the complete abandonment of the green agenda by the Tories is the announcement that they would place a moratorium on onshore wind… Read More

Against an uncertain political and regulatory back-drop it has been difficult to finance and build established renewable plant like wind turbines, let alone bring new ideas and entrants to the renewable energy market.  There has long been talk of tidal being a ‘game-changing’ technology, yet with so much uncertainty no one has had the brains or the bottle to bring a scheme to planning. That, if nothing else, makes the Tidal Lagoon… Read More

What has happened to progressive ideas on energy policy?  Politicians seem to be locked in a rhetorical battle to go further and further backwards. There’s talk of a windfall tax which we tried in the noughties; some want a pool which we ditched in the nineties; and some want direct price manipulation which was the fashion of the seventies.  Nationalisation is a word that keeps getting cheers on Question Time.  The debate… Read More

David Cameron is a cowardly prime minister.    Watching his performance at PMQs on Wednesday was embarrassing.  When he announced he would be ‘rolling back the green levies’ it was like watching a school play in which a child is suddenly overwhelmed and promptly wets himself on stage. We have seen this sort of policy incontinence before.  Who can forget that a slightly smaller puddle was found on the House of Commons… Read More

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’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

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

Here’s a recipe for a May bank holiday treat you won’t find on Masterchef: 1.  Take one converted barn, add a clutch of angelic children, and a sprinkle of doting grandparents. 2.  Stir in a surprise birthday, a formidable quantity of wine and bake in unseasonal warm weather. 3. Allow to cool then serve with the incendiary secret ingredient – a flambee of wind power banter. Nothing, it seems, gets the party… Read More