A Bear of Very Little Brain

I wonder why in the United Kingdom the intellectual capacity of ministers and civil servants who deal with energy issues is so low. I know that I am being unusually rude, but energy and the environment are too important issues to have bears of very little brain in charge of policy.

Avid readers of these essays will know that I have always been opposed to wood burning power stations and will know the reason is that they cause terrible environmental damage. Continue reading

Lobbying and Corruption

Some administrations are openly corrupt.  In some parts of the world you can offer a handful of cash to a civil servant or government official in order to obtain a document that is your administrative right, like a minor permit, or a document that is your human right to possess, like a passport. You have to offer a large bag full of cash to obtain a facility to make more cash in that part of the world. These things are done secretly but the process is not too subtle. Continue reading

Too Much of a Good Thing

Britain seems to be winding down. We have been distracted from our economic activity however pitiful that may be, by Easter with its attendant holidays, then by May Day and now we are celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee by taking a day off after Whitsun Bank holiday so that next week will comprise for most a three day week. We then have to look forward to the distraction of the Euro football completion followed by the Olympics and Para Olympics. It is inevitable that people will take time off to view these events. London’s civil servants will be working from home during the Olympics because of the travel problems that the Olympics will cause. No doubt they will be careful to avoid watching any of the games on television. These are long holiday periods in troubled times. Holidays are very good things but you can have too much of a good thing.

Entertaining the Taxman

The feeling that there is one law for the rich and another for the poor is strongest and most easily demonstrated when it comes to tax affairs. We all have to pay tax, whether we like it or not, or suffer the draconian consequences. We have to pay promptly and devote quite a lot of our resources, if we run a business, in figuring out the various taxes and getting the money to the tax man. For this we need to employ bookkeepers, accountants and others to discharge our duty. Continue reading

Another Delay to the RHI

The thermal solar industry was promised by the government that the Renewable Heat Incentive would come into effect on 30th September 2011. This promise was made around two years ago. Like all incentive schemes the government needs to get approval from the European Commission to the incentive package. It expected approval to be rubber stamped but the European Commission has expressed concerns that part of the non domestic RHI – that relating to biomass – has been given too high incentives by the RHI. Thus with EU approval withheld the whole non domestic RHI is held in abeyance. The government is for some reason unable to bring in the non controversial tariffs like that relating to solar thermal because it means changing the proposed regulations and submitting them to Parliament. Continue reading