Britannia – Where does she get her energy?
Our country has a choice about where we get our energy. It’s not the sort of choice it can make every day though, because of the investment and time it takes to put up the power plants and pylons. However, it is a choice that it is making today. There is a bill going through parliament and the House of Lords at the moment that is locking this country into energy generation for the next few decades. The Energy Bill in its current form, although providing for some sorely-needed low-carbon investment, also allows for a new dash-for-gas, and, most disappointingly, specifies no target for making the power sector carbon-free – something that the government’s own independent advisory body, the Committee on Climate Change, says is necessary. It also excludes two of the most polluting industries from higher energy prices – steel and cement making – because they’ve threatened to take their jobs overseas if their energy prices go up.
‘Energy bills going up’ is always blamed on paying for wind turbines that ‘no-one wants’. In reality only a small amount in pounds of the recent increases in energy bills have been due to the green subsidy – the main reason for them going up is the rise in gas on the world markets. As Nicholas Stern said some years ago, a small increase in prices now to take strong action to reduce emissions is a very good idea. Stern warned that climate change risks causing economic consequences “on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and the economic depression of the first half of the 20th century”. In the long run we will all benefit from the cleaner, greener energy technologies.
The Energy Bill still needs to go through both houses, so there is still time to make your views known and help get an Energy Bill that is fit for the future. www.operationnoah.org has some suggested actions that we can take.