Clean energy cuts: The question is… who dunnit?
Look on it as murder mystery story.
The UK’s entire renewable energy industry, and the whole ‘zero carbon agenda’.
George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, aided and abetted by his subservient accomplice, Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Energy.
Changes in planning law, Government support and fiscal policy.
Now that’s where it gets complicated!
There are at the moment dozens of amateur detectives desperate to find a motive for this heinous and currently inexplicable crime. Let me just take you through the list that’s up there on the whiteboard:
- Possible motive 1
The UK government is still obsessively focused on austerity, needing to cut and cut any available budgets that haven’t yet been already cut.
Likelihood: Very low. The sums of money involved (as in direct taxpayer support for renewables and energy efficiency) are so low.
- Possible motive 2
The critical imperative of protecting ‘hard-working families’ from any further increases in energy bills.
Likelihood: Low. Despite column miles of mischief about a potentially massive hit on consumers, the real cost to consumers of what Prime Minister David Cameron once described as ‘all this green crap’ is £101 a year on the ‘typical household bill’ of £1,255.
- Possible motive 3
It’s just wrong to use any mechanism or subsidy to support any kind of energy.
Likelihood: Zero. This is a government that is prepared to go on providing huge subsidies for the offshore oil and gas industry, huge subsidies for the would-be fracking industry, and inconceivably huge subsidies for the nuclear industry.
- Possible motive 4
It’s all a total waste of money anyway.
Likelihood: Very low. Government support over the last decade has helped turn a ‘niche renewables industry’ into a major contributor to this country’s energy supply system and security. And on energy efficiency, we’re already doing really well, with business as the principal beneficiary.
- Possible motive 5
Our economy is in such trouble that we need a massive infusion of Chinese cash, Chinese engineering expertise, and Chinese nuclear technology.
Likelihood: Possible. The UK nuclear industry died decades ago; the French nuclear industry (as in EdF and Areva) is in terminal decline; and the rest of the world thinks that anything nuclear is yesterday’s nightmare. So it’s China or die.
- Possible motive 6
We don’t need a renewables industry or a proper decarbonisation strategy because we are going to achieve our statutory emissions reduction targets through fracking and nuclear energy.
- Possible motive 7
I’m George Osborne; I do what I like; I hate anything to do with the Green Movement, and my crass planet-trashing, people-crushing ideology tells me this is the right thing to do.
Indict that man!
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