Reviewing Budgets From an Environmental Perspective

I used to review each UK budget for its impact on the environment. Governments would be keen to announce a series of measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, or to save energy or to any of the myriad things that should be done or could be done to protect what we have now for our descendants. Continue reading

Large Scale Solar Farms Generating Electricity

In Broxford in Suffolk Santander are building a 60 hectare array of solar photo-voltaic panels, which they expect to generate 32.8 megawatt of electricity. The array is being built on a disused airfield.  It will be one of Britain’s largest photo-voltaic installations. and will feed electricity into the grid during daylight hours, cashing in on the very large subsidy that the United Kingdom taxpayer pays. Continue reading

Freezing Energy Prices

The price of energy is a problem, partly because people in the United Kingdom are not used to paying high energy prices and partly because the price increases have continued while household incomes in real terms are falling. Continue reading

Power for the People

The energy policy of the United Kingdom has been in a mess for at least two decades. Ofgem has indicated that it expects power cuts to be frequent from 2015 onwards as the plant load factor – the amount of spare capacity at the electricity generating stations – reduces to very dangerously low levels. For successive governments energy has been an afterthought, and addressed in words rather than deeds and coherent policies, and the government is in denial about the risk of blackouts. Continue reading

Energy Prices Will Rise but the Problem is More than Rising Prices

The British consumers of energy, both domestic and industrial, face the inevitability of even higher energy prices over the next few years. At the moment electricity prices are about the same in the United Kingdom as they are in continental Europe, but natural gas prices are just over half the price of natural gas. All that is going to change and if you feel that you are paying far more than you envisaged for energy now, then you will have to budget more carefully in several years’ time. Continue reading

The Green Deal is No Deal

The UK government has spent now four years, I think it is four years, in designing a Green Deal. When it was announced the purpose of the Green Deal was to create a means of finance for people who want to invest in energy efficiency and in micro-generation for their own homes. The concept was that there would be a loan to cover the whole cost of all approved measures by approved installers so that householders could borrow very cheaply and repay the loan out of the savings they made over the years. Continue reading

The Shrinkage of the Green Economy

Mr Stern now thinks that he understated the consequences of climate change when he wrote his report. He also thinks that the government should engage the private sector in developing economic growth without increasing emissions. I cannot disagree but is not that what the government has been pretending to do for the past four years? Continue reading