Shale Gas: is it worth it?

George Osborne is the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom. This grand title (the British love grand titles) translates into the Finance Minister in most nations. Mr Osborne is not renowned as an environmentalist, but does. Like all politicians, love grand schemes and big projects. It is as though big projects – like holding the Olympic Games or building the Millennium Dome – are the only worthwhile projects that should catch the attention of the holder of a grand title. Continue reading

a budget that will harm the environment and those who need to live in it

George Osborne made his annual budget statement in the House of Commons yesterday on the equinox. Days will get longer from now on but following the budget i doubt if they will get brighter.  These are difficult economic times, but they are also difficult times for the environment. While trying to remedy the difficult economy Mr Osborne has taken the opportunity to completely ignore that part of the economy which centres on renewable energy.

While there is less tax to pay for petrol and diesel and various subsidies for fracking shale gas and for EDF’s proposed nuclear power plant at Hinckley (these subsidies being disguised as incentives or contracts) there was nothing for the environment; Mr Osborne’s comment that he would continue to support the Carbon Capture and Storage experimentation was just more of the same, pretending to be a new measure.

The most worrying comment was that “I want Britain to tap into new sources of low cost energy like shale gas. Shale gas is part of the future. And we will make it happen.”

He will be rudely awoken in due course. In Britain shale gas will not be a source of low cost energy. It will be a source of high cost energy, notwithstanding that the shale gas companies will get very generous tax breaks which those in renewable energy can only dream of.

Once again short term takes precedence over the long term, and our descendants will be left to clear up the mess, if they can. It is a budget that will harm the environment and those who need to live in it.

Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish

It seems an odd task for a Chancellor of the Exchequer. Mr Osborne is off to Brussels to trying to convince the European Community that its plans to restrict bankers’ bonuses to the equivalent of a year’s salary are wrong. The public have rightly identified that the economic problems which followed the bank’s bail out are largely laid at the door of bankers who used our money to gamble, and in gambling lost, as all gamblers do. The bankers were motivated to gamble by huge bonuses, so, the public perceives, anything that makes gambling with l’argent des autres is undesirable and should be restricted. Continue reading

How Green Was the Budget?

On Wednesday the British Finance Minister, who is rather grandly called the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced the budget for the coming financial year. I have never understood why it is called a budget because a principle of every budget it that it should balance. The economies of the world’s developed nations rarely have balanced budgets; it is all about borrowing and more borrowing. I always look at the budget measures from an environmental perspective, so how green is this budget? Continue reading

Renewable Heat Incentive Goes Ahead

It is nice to report some good news in the United Kingdom, which is good news for the environment and good news for the renewable heat industry, which includes companies like Genersys which has occupied most of my working days since I founded it over ten years ago. Continue reading