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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

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

It was a gentle and carefree ride for David Cameron through his supposed ‘grilling’ by the Ad Hoc Select Committee on Tuesday. Facing questions on energy policy, the committee had an arsenal of ammunition at their disposal.  Bickering ministers, contradictory policies and extraordinary vetoes could have put the Prime Minister in the cross hairs.  Sadly the committee members were mostly firing blanks.  Cameron was comfortable, so comfortable in fact that his greatest… 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

Another week, another big call for energy policy.  Following last week’s Energy Bill, it is time for Ed Davey to point the way on the use of unconventional gas supplies.  He will give fracking the green light following the George Osborne’s Autumn Statement which is widely expected to include tax breaks for the companies experimenting with the process. Fracking is another of the unjust energy solutions that realises possible long term benefits… Read More