|Germany can do it, but not the British. The Collected Republic of the People can install solar power with great will and nerve, but not Johnny English.
Let’s be clear here – the people in Scotland have a vision for future Renewable Energy, and so do many people in Wales and Ireland, but it appears English governance listens to fuddy duddy landowners too readily, and remains wedded to the fossil fuel industry and major construction projects like nuclear power, and carbon capture and storage.
|What precisely is wrong with the heads of policy travel in Westminster ? Do they not understand the inevitable future of “conventional” energy – of decline, decimation and fall ?
It really is of no use putting off investment in truly sustainable and renewable power and gas. There are only two paths we can take in the next few decades, and their destination is the same.
Here’s how it goes. Path A will take the United Kingdom into continued dodgy skirmishes in the Middle East and North Africa. Oil production will dance like a man with a stubbed toe, but then show its true gradient of decline. Once everybody gets over the panic of the impending lack of vehicle fuel, and the failure of alternatives like algal biodiesel, and the impacts of a vastly contracted liquid fuel supply on globalised trade, then we shall move on to the second phase – the exploitation of gas. At first, it will be Natural Gas. But that too will decline. And then it will be truly natural gases. As gas is exploited for vehicles, electricity will have to come from coal. But coal, too, is suffering a precipitous decline. So renewable energy will be our salvation. By the year 2100, the world will run on renewable electricity and renewable gas, or not at all.
Meanwhile we will have had wars, rumours of wars, and just plain bomb-dropping, and lots of ancient civilisations will have bit the uranium-laced dust, and Scotland will have long since made a break for economic and political freedom. And we will have locked ourselves into dangerous climate change through our wanton burning of fossil fuels.
Path B – the logical long-term option and where we’re headed anyway – is to bypass climate change, bypass warfare and bypass idiocy and go straight to renewables.
But can the English Government work this out ? Can they see beyond their Cost Benefit Analyses and their short-termism and the calls to cut regulation and targets ? Can they imagine what life will be like in 30 years – and can they be made to be accountable to the future citizens of this country ?
We need to stimulate the development of renewable energy in the United Kingdom. It will take tax breaks, direct funding, subsidies. The Feed-in Tariff for solar power is essential in the current economic environment, to build a long-lasting electricity generation asset. If the British Government truly takes the prosperity of this country seriously, they need to plan for a significant deployment of renewable energy. We don’t know what the price of fossil fuels will be in five years time, ten years time. But we know that sunshine will always be free.