I can’t believe the Energy Secretary Amber Rudd’s recent announcement on replacing coal with gas-fired power stations.
Scaling back on coal is good, but we can do so much better than switching to gas.
Her own climate advisory panel concluded that low-carbon sources are better than gas, so why is she determined to back gas? The government obsession with pushing domestic shale gas extraction is increasingly insane for economic and environmental reasons.
The UK job creation talked up could occur equally under a renewable energy development strategy. The cost of generating electricity is higher with fossil fuels and nuclear than it is with renewables, so why force this extra cost onto the taxpayer? UK fossil fuels industry already receive £5.9bn government financial assistance compared to just £3.5bn for renewables. The gap will widen in 2016 when wind farm subsidies are cut, feed in tariff rates are reduced and new tax breaks for the North Sea gas industry costing £1.7bn over 5 yrs are introduced.
The concern over lights going out is addressed by replacing production capacity lost from coal for sure, but it does not have to be from gas, and can equally be renewably sourced. Base load fluctuations in renewables reduce with each and every solar panel or wind turbine installation. This government is backing the wrong horse - it is backing a more environmentally dangerous and costly horse.
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