Tag Archives: renewable energy

Opinion: Not a budget for green policy

Wind turbine - Some rights reserved by thomas vlDavid Cameron may now view climate change as a serious threat, thanks to the winter floods, but you wouldn’t know it from his Chancellor’s Budget statement on Wednesday. What did the Budget do for green growth and the low-carbon agenda? –

  • Froze the carbon price floor (paid by large emitters) until the end of the decade. Introduced just last year at £16/tonne carbon dioxide, it was supposed to increase steadily to reach £30 in 2020 and £70 in 2030; now it’ll stick at £18. This makes coal more attractive and low-carbon energy less.
  • Ended Enterprise Investment Scheme tax breaks for investments in renewable electricity and heat (while retaining them for everything else).
  • Extended compensation for energy-intensive industries from the electricity bill levies funding renewable energy.
Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 13 Comments

Opinion: Don’t waver on energy policy

The recent debate on energy prices was kicked off by Ed Miliband’s declaration that a Labour government would freeze energy prices for a while. Understandably this is attractive to some who are struggling with household bills but the proposal will not in the long run benefit anyone (except perhaps the Labour party). Energy companies can only control the prices they charge to a very limited extent; they would put up their prices in anticipation of a price freeze then raise them again when the freeze is over. Labour are attempting to bribe the electorate with their own money.

It now looks …

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Ed Davey MP writes…Big boost for investment in renewable electricity

It may seem to Lib Dem Voice readers that important energy announcements are a bit like buses. You wait some time for one and then several come along together. So hard on the heels of Monday’s energy bills package today Danny Alexander announced the final strike prices for renewable technologies and also which companies had qualified for the final stage of being awarded early investment contracts. This is good news for investment in the UK’s infrastructure and good news for our move to a low carbon economy.

On the back of these announcements we expect an additional £40 billion of …

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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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The Independent View: Voters support pro-wind energy candidates

Nine months ago Nick Clegg made his Leader’s speech to Conference in front of a backdrop featuring wind turbines. There followed months of speculation about the relationship between Lib Dem Energy Secretary Edward Davey and his junior Minister John Hayes, until the latter was moved. So were Clegg and Davey right to be so forthright in support? New polling numbers suggest so, despite what certain fossilised parts of the media would have us believe.

Over the last year there’s been a slew of opinion polls showing strong support for wind – as Davey said to the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy …

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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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LibLink: Christine Jardine – Balance of Scottish power

Until the Summer, Christine Jardine was deep at the heart of Government as a special adviser on Scottish media based in Downing Street. She’s now returned to Scotland and full time Liberal Democrat politics.

This week, in the Scotsman, she argued that over reliance on land based wind farms can hurt the communities where they are based and predominantly benefits the landowners who pocket the subsidy and don’t pass it on to local people. She argued that more attention should be given to offshore and tidal projects, like the one Scottish Secretary Mike Moore was so enthusiastic about a few …

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Edward Davey MP writes: The greenest government ever – at an affordable price

The announcement I made today of the levels of support for renewable generation for the period 2013-17 will unlock generation and network capital investment worth £20-25 billion between 2013 and 2017 This is the kind of sustainable long run growth and green jobs we need to get the economy moving again. This is further evidence that pursuing green policies can bring real economic benefits. The CBI recognised this  in their report earlier this month stressing the need for a stable climate for green investment. I just wish that some of the critics of green growth policies would pay heed …

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Leaked letter shows Osborne is pressurising Ed Davey on green energy

Jim Pickard in the FT carries details of a leaked letter from Gerge Osborne to Ed Davey laying down the law on crucial green energy issues. The letter includes the demand that Davey sends a “strong signal” that the government is in favour of “unabated gas”:

…I have been handed a letter from the chancellor to Ed Davey, energy secretary, which suggests that the wind subsidies are only

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LibLink: Ed Davey – Out of the Shadows

The Lib Dems’ newest cabinet minister Edward Davey, secretary of state for energy and climate change, is the subject of an extensive profile in the latest issue of The House magazine, re-printed on PoliticsHome.

And it sounds like he couldn’t be much happier: “This is the thing I wanted to do – it’s my dream job. Environment, and the whole climate-change agenda, is one of the reasons I joined the Liberal Democrats. It’s something that really motivates me in politics and it’s a great privilege to be here. … I’m not going to be giving in on Liberal Democrat …

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Opinion: Opening up the benefits of renewable energy means considering much more than just the size of subsidies

At present for somebody to benefit from the subsidies offered to small scale renewable energy production they must have three things:

1 – Ownership of a property suitable for producing renewable energy

2 – A substantial amount of capital to invest in installing the technology and

3 – The opportunity to invest this capital for 25 years, with no possibility of early pay back unless they sell their house, in which case it is an open question what return they might receive.

Unsurprisingly this leave most people unable to access these benefits, even though many may have something to contribute to renewable energy production, …

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Ed Davey MP writes… Solar power for the many, not the few

Some things in politics are symbolic. For dyed-in-the-wool environmentalists like the Liberal Democrats, solar power is one of these things – indisputably clean, green and cutting edge technology. The sort of thing Liberal Democrats in a government that aims to be the greenest ever should be unequivocally behind.

Our commitment to the environment was why I joined the party in the first place.

So I understand why many of you were confused and disappointed when the Government appeared to scale back the Feed in Tariffs that allow people to install solar panels in their homes and businesses, not least when our decision …

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Opinion: Flaws in Policy Exchange’s report

Another day, another headline on the cost of green policies. This time thanks to a new report from Policy Exchange as part of their ‘Greener, Cheaper’ workstream. With customers feeling the pinch from high energy bills, Chris Huhne continues to have his work cut out to defend green policy spending. Problems with Policy Exchange’s analysis, including their uncritical support of gas and aversion to the promotion of growth by Government, must be brought to the fore.

The main argument of Policy Exchange’s report is that there are additional costs to consumers from renewable policies beyond those directly on the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 7 Comments

Opinion: Feed-in tariffs and the Lib Dem fight to ensure the Coalition really is ‘the greenest government ever’

Feed-in tariffs, a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in renewable energy technologies, have been used successfully in many countries to increase the amount of electricity being generated from renewable sources.

The UK has actually been fairly slow off the mark on this. Our aim to be ‘the greenest government ever’ included support for feed-in tariffs.

Indeed, in the Coalition Agreement the preamble to the section on Energy and Climate Change said: ‘We need to use a wide range of levers to cut carbon emissions, decarbonise the economy and support the creation of new green jobs and technologies.’ It went on to say ‘We will establish a full system of feed-in tariffs in electricity,’ and ‘We will encourage community-owned renewable energy schemes where local people benefit from the power produced.’

So what is happening to the system of feed-in tariffs? And how are the changes going to encourage community-owned renewable energy systems?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 14 Comments



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  • User AvatarPeter Watson 17th Apr - 6:41pm
    @Martin "Reducing the number of MPs could only be acceptable in the context of a more representative voting system" Indeed. The party policy in the...
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    Interesting Shakesperian quote but would have been more powerful if he'd used the whole sentence - "The fault dear Brutus is not in the stars...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 17th Apr - 6:15pm
    "Your solution,.(?).. is to create some kind of ‘academy’ to train young people to become the [new],…. “narrow class of professional politicians most of whose...
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    @ John Dunn, Having looked at the website, it is not just about training SpAds.
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    " it is the PEOPLE who are to blame " Or, more concisely, 'See what you've made us do? See what you've driven us to?'
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    I would not lump the BNP and UKIP together. For a start, the BNP has virtually imploded, Griffin has officially been declared bankrupt (in financial...