Tag Archives: energy

LibLink: Ed Davey promises no blackouts this winter

Ed Davey Social Liberal Forum conference Jul 19 2014 Photo by Paul WalterInterviewed in the Sunday Telgraph, Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, said that he had asked the energy regulators for extra contingency measures to cut consumption in event of a cold winter or more power station failures.

Emergency plans will be announced tomorrow in which hotels will be paid to turn down refrigerators and factories paid to make staff work overnight to cut energy consumption and prevent blackouts this winter.

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Opinion: Generating electricity – why we should push for renewables, not fracking

Green wind farmThis article is about how we generate electricity in the UK, and makes the case for electricity generation to be 100% carbon-neutral, and to be frack-free.

Climate change remains one of the greatest risks of our age. We know that the climate is changing: we can either accept the risks and take what comes, or we can mitigate the risk by using technology to end our dependency on fossil fuels. Liberal Democrats campaign for the latter.

In 2013, figures for the UK and the whole EU for electricity generation are as follows:

energy sources

On these figures, we have some catching up to do. Many would think that given the particular advantages of wind and tides our islands have, we would be doing more than catching up – we would be leading.

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Don Foster MP writes… Justifiable NIMBYism?

I  suspect I’m not the only one to be delighted and relieved about the announcement this week about new protections to be put in place that will restrict “Fracking” in sensitive areas.

Geological evidence shows that fracking could lead to a significant disruption to the hot water spring waters on which the tourism of the World Heritage City of Bath depends and could damage the water pressure without which we could see buildings in the city collapse.

Even though the latest British Geological Survey Maps show that the three main areas where large amounts of shale oil and gas exists lie nowhere …

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Our Climate Change bulldog #slfconf

Ed Davey Social Liberal Forum conference Jul 19 2014 Photo by Paul Walter
WARNING: Contains strong hagiographic content, which some readers may find disturbing.

On Saturday, while much of the country was enjoying the sunshine, I spent two hours studying and listening to The Right Honourable Edward Davey MP FRSA.

In the wonderful surroundings of the new headquarters of Amnesty International, Ed addressed the Social Liberal Forum conference on “Energy and climate change – the balance between state and market”. He was then interviewed by four bloggers: Jonathan Calder, Matthew Hulbert,

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Ed Davey MP writes…Investing in green energy

offshore wind farmToday I published the Government’s first ever ‘Energy Investment Report’.  It shows how Liberal Democrats in Government have delivered on jobs and investment in energy – particularly green energy – and shows the plan we now have for this to continue for decades to come.

Let me be clear – investment in the energy sector has not been a ‘nice to have’.  We inherited a legacy of energy underinvestment from Labour and we’ve spent the last four years turning this around.   The sheer scale of the investment has already …

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Are the Greens to the Lib Dems what Ukip is to the Tories?

image“As Ukip is to the Tories, so can the Green party be to the Lib Dems.” That’s a sentence I wrote here, almost seven years ago, on 3rd November, 2007.

In The Times, Sam Coates has looked at how the quiet rise of the Greens in recent months – the party polled just ahead of the Lib Dems in May’s European elections – might hurt the Lib Dems at the May 2015 general election.

An analysis of the European election results shows the Green vote strengthening and consolidating in the

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The Independent View: Smart policy is backing smart energy

Onzo Smart Energy Meter Kit DisplayEnergy policy continues to be central to the political agenda and on consumers’ minds, with the average energy bill now topping £1300 and more than 2 million homes living in fuel poverty.

Research published this week by the Smart Meter Central Delivery Body shows the extent of current dissatisfaction with the way we buy energy.  More than half of the 10,000 respondents to our independent survey said they do not trust any energy supplier, while 41% think they are paying for more energy that they consume.

photo by: digitpedia
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Ed Davey MP writes… An onshore wind cap makes no sense

A few wind turbinesRarely a week goes by without an onshore wind story appearing in the media – normally negative, with some Conservative source trying to undermine this important source of renewable energy. The past few weeks have been no different.

First, let’s set the record straight. Liberal Democrats in Government will not accept a cap on onshore wind. Of course what other parties choose to put in their manifestos is a matter for them. But this Coalition Government is not changing tack on onshore wind or renewables and we will not …

photo by: vaxomatic
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Edward Davey writes… Gas profits

Gas flame burning, creative pictureLast year I asked Ofgem, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) & the new Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to start producing annual competition assessments which will look at the way energy companies operate in detail.  They will also set out any actions they deem necessary.

The first of their reviews will be published this Spring and I have just written to them outlining new evidence I want to be considered as part of their investigations.

Essentially the new evidence focuses on the profits some energy companies are making …

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Energy: What Lib Dem members think about the price freeze and new nuclear power station deal

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 750 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.
Would you support or oppose the following policies…?

64% oppose energy price freeze

… Freezing energy prices for 20 months from May 2015, while reviewing the regulation of energy companies

    7% – Strongly Support
    16% – Support
    Total support = 23%
    34% – Oppose
    30% – Strongly Oppose
    Total oppose = 64%
    12% –

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Ed Davey nails Labour’s energy price freeze: “Prices go up, small, independent competitors go out of business, the big six is created again. Well done, Mr Miliband!”

Here’s Lib Dem energy secretary Ed Davey highlighting one of the many flaws in Ed Miliband’s promise to freeze energy prices in today’s Guardian interview:

ed davey energy prices

(Hat-tip: John Rentoul in The Independent: Quotation of the Day.)

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Ed Davey MP writes… Hinkley Point C – a big step forward for energy decarbonisation

Today I announced that we have reached an outline commercial agreement with EDF to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset.

I know this will cause a wide range of reactions within the party. Most will welcome this very significant step forward in our plans to decarbonise our energy sector. A substantial minority I know will be disappointed. Before outlining the terms of what I believe is a good deal for the British consumer let me repeat what I said at the Glasgow conference as to why I have changed my mind and now believe that nuclear has …

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Ed Davey MP writes… Labour’s energy policy is a con

Energy-bills-006“There is no such thing as a free lunch” was one of the first things I learnt in economics. But it seems that Ed Miliband thinks there is. He seems to believe that you can have freeze energy prices for 20 months with no adverse impacts. It may have seemed a politically smart thing to do leading into the traditional period of energy price increases. But it is likely to have really harmful consequences. In short, it’s a con.

Many commentators have already pointed out that energy companies will be free to …

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Ed Miliband’s speech: 5 thoughts on what it means for Labour, Tories, Lib Dems and the 2015 election

Ed MilibandI listened to, rather than watched, Ed Miliband’s speech to the Labour party conference yesterday. On the up-side that meant I missed the three hammy mid-speech standing ovations (shades of IDS c.2003); on the down-side it accentuated the peculiar whooping of some of the more excitable delegates (calm down, it’s just a politician talking). In its own terms — getting noticed for its content rather than simply as an impressive no-notes memory feat — it was an undoubted success. Matthew Parris in The Times rather brilliantly captures the flavour:

Crikey

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Opinion: Labour’s energy freeze is terrible economics but excellent politics

Ed Miliband announced in his keynote speech to Labour Party conference that, if elected, he would force energy companies to freeze energy bills for 20 months.

Now obviously, from an economic liberal  perspective, this makes no sense.

Freezing energy costs is precisely the wrong way to go about dealing with the cost of living problem in this country. By freezing income while costs rise in the global upturn & the population expands to require greater supply, Miliband is depriving the energy companies of the capital they need to invest in the expansion of the system.

This will inevitably drive the energy supply industry …

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The Observer claims Lib Dems officially ‘blast fracking’ – no!

Balcombe FrackingToday’s Observer splashes with “Liberal Democrats blast environmental damage caused by fracking.” Not quite.

We’ve had quite a lively debate here on Lib Dem Voice on the merits and demerits of fracking (Gilbert, Boddington).  In the Observer article Tony Helm suggests that Liberal Democrats have rejected shale gas extraction. As I said not quite.

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Chris Huhne lands £100k a year job at US energy firm. And why not?

huhne_harris_floodsThe Independent reports the story of Chris Huhne’s new role:

Disgraced former MP Chris Huhne has been hired as the manager of an energy firm just months after being released from prison. The Government’s ex-energy and climate change cabinet secretary has been working as the European manager of Zilkha Biomass Energy since July, according to the company’s website.

He was jailed in March for eight months along with his ex-wife Vicki Pryce for swapping speeding penalty points so he could avoid a driving ban, but the pair were released in May.

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Opinion: Shale Gas exploration – Why a cautious approach is the right one.

Many Liberal Democrats will, like me, have read with wry amusement the reaction of the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph and some Tory MPs to the local opposition to Cuadrilla drilling in Balcombe in Sussex and the potential of fracking in their area given their previous hysterical support for fracking and shale gas.

Clearly there are a number of groups who are taking the opportunity to mount a vigorous campaign against fracking with, for example, the publication of a map of a “licence to frack” raising fears of fracking taking place across the country. In fact the so called …

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Opinion: The Dark Satanic Wells of Fracking

Like many enthusiasts, I’m looking forward to the bombastic Last Night of the Proms, one month today. And I bet I’ll not be alone in bellowing out the words of England’s most popular anthem, Jerusalem.Blake Newton Fracking

Two centuries ago, William Blake began writing his epic poem Milton, including perhaps Jerusalem, while living in Felpham, Sussex. A few years later, he was back in London where the streets were being illuminated for the first time by gas lamps. The coal gas of Blake’s era gave way in the late 1960s to the cleaner supplies from the North Sea. Now we are witnessing the third coming of gas – hydraulic fracturing of shale. And this takes us directly back to Sussex, where protesters are mounting a blockade against fracking at Balcombe.

Green campaigners’ passions flare at any mention of fracking. The Campaign to Protect Rural England seems less certain that fracking is out of order, at least as a temporary energy fix. But it is at one with the Financial Times in believing that Balcombe is far from the best place to start. The drilling site is within the protected High Weald area of outstanding natural beauty and, even though the blockade is being led by eco-activists, most villagers say they are opposed to fracking in their parish.

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Ed Davey MP writes… Keeping the lights on with greener energy

Hopefully by the time you’ve read this you’ll be aware of the details I announced this morning to secure the future of energy supply for the UK – if not, and excuse the pun –  let me enlighten you.

As you know already, we have a plan in the form of the Energy Bill that is progressing well through Parliament.  The plan essentially addresses a major issue – we need to attract £110 billion of private sector investment to replace the supply we lose as a result of 20% of our power stations closing by the end of this

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Ed Davey MP writes…Green jobs, cleaner energy, keeping the lights on and bills down

The Energy Bill returns to the House of Commons tomorrow. It’s a crucial Bill that will help deliver all of the above, but clearly one issue – the 2030 decarbonisation target for the power sector – has been the focus of much attention over the last few months. Let’s be clear, such a target wasn’t mentioned in any party’s manifesto or the Coalition Agreement, or in the draft Bill when I became Secretary of State. But because we won the argument in Government, and the Bill now provides for a target, Britain will be the first country in the world …

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Ed Davey writes… Europe must stay ambitious on climate change

There has been a lot of talk over the last few weeks about Britain’s place in Europe, but there’s one thing that I hope we can all agree. We need the EU to help prevent climate change.

We are an island nation, a trading nation, dependent on the global market for prosperity – for food, for energy, for many of the products we rely on in. It is unsurprising that the UK was one of the first countries to recognise that significant climate change will directly affect our way of life. And we were the first country to bind …

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This week in Europe: 20-23 May

As attention turns towards next year’s European Parliamentary elections, Liberal Democrat MEP’s continue to work for jobs and growth, and against some of the more ludicrous bureaucratic excesses…

“EU must get tough on tax” says Sharon Bowles MEP
 
Ahead of yesterday’s EU Summit in Brussels, the European Parliament backed a common European strategy to combat tax fraud, evasion and havens.
 
UK Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles, who chairs the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, said:
 

It is totally unacceptable that corporate tax avoidance is now the norm in Europe, aided and abetted by aggressive tax planning and tax consultancy firms.
 
I have been fighting

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Edward Davey writes… Helping consumers to get cheaper energy bills

Energy-bills-006As we finally emerge from what felt like a never ending winter, many consumers are rightly concerned about the energy bills landing on their doormats.

In Government I’m doing everything I can to ‘cushion’ people from bill increases. Wholesale energy prices make up nearly half of the typical household bill and controlling the recent increases is outside of our control. However, there’s a whole range of measures that we’re introducing to help people to keep their homes warm and their bills down – particularly the Green Deal, with the latest …

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Ed Davey writes: How we can tackle rising energy bills

Energy-bills-006As we enter the first cold snap of the year there will inevitably be a focus on the rising cost of energy – particularly after there have been inflation busting increases in gas and electricity tariffs of 6-10% over the past few months.

No country can stop the main cause of this – rising and high world prices for oil and gas. Yet we must do everything we can, to help people and firms struggling with these bills, especially the most vulnerable. And that’s why helping with energy bills has been and will be one of my top priorities.

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68% of Lib Dem members back backbench rebellion over energy decarbonisation target

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 550 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

68% back decarbonisation amendment rebellion

LDV asked: The Government’s Energy Bill was published in November. In exchange for securing significant investment in the renewable sector up to 2020, Ed Davey dropped a commitment to include a 2030 decarbonisation target opposed by George Osborne. Labour are likely to table an amendment to the Energy Bill to create a target to decarbonise the power …

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The Independent View: Why Ed Davey should support Tim Yeo for the sake of our energy and environment’

Wind turbine - Some rights reserved by thomas vlIt feels very odd praising a Conservative MP on a Lib Dem website as a member of the Labour party, but that’s exactly what I’m doing today.

The Conservative MP Tim Yeo is taking a principled stand on the Energy Bill and plans to include a ‘decarbonisation target’ amendment as the Bill gets debated in Parliament. He says the Treasury must stop supporting gas and focus on getting a significant percentage of our all electricity from clean sources by 2030.

He told a group of energy investors (FT) in the City:

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LibLink: Ed Davey – not a single penny on energy bills that isn’t in the public interest

Ed Davey - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsIn a speech yesterday at the Fair Energy Summit 2012, Ed Davey said:

I don’t want to add a penny to energy bills that isn’t in the public interest.

I am frankly fed up with commentators suggesting that the Government is deliberately increasing energy bills, when in fact we are doing everything we can to reduce them.

 

 

 

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LibLink: Ed Davey – my long battle for a ‘grand energy bargain’

Lib Dem energy secretary Edward Davey was interviewed in The Guardian this weekend about the energy bill to be announced this week. The paper fillets the main points Ed made here:

• Insists that energy prices overall will be 7% lower than they otherwise would have been in the medium term as a result of government policy, even if prices in real terms may rise due to the worldwide energy market.

• Rejects talk of a government-sanctioned dash for gas as overblown, even if he concedes the Conservatives will big this up.

• Says shale gas will not have a significant short-term

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The Independent View: Liberal Democrats must not be complicit in Osborne’s dash for gas

Friends of the Earth and the Liberal Democrats have long had similar visions for our energy future: more renewables; phasing out fossil fuels; ramping up energy efficiency. In short, getting pollution and consumer bills down, while increasing energy self-sufficiency.

Everything about this vision is now at stake.

The ‘quad’ – the coalition’s decision-making grouping of Cameron, Clegg, Osborne and Alexander – are locked in negotiations with Lib Dem Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey over a 2030 ‘decarbonisation’ target in the Government’s Energy Bill legislation.

Such a target …

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