Govt energy announcement: Half-baked plan shows they simply don’t care about cutting energy bills

Responding to the Government’s embargoed energy announcement, Liberal Democrat Climate Change and Energy spokesperson Wera Hobhouse MP said:

The fact the Government had to be dragged to court in order to announce this half-baked plan shows they simply don’t care about tackling climate change or cutting energy bills.

This updated Net Zero strategy once more falls far too short. There is no clear pathway to ending our fossil fuel dependency, a de facto ban remains on onshore wind and there is no remit for the regulator Ofgem to have a clear net zero objective.

This is just compounding the Government’s legacy of failure on climate action and investing in renewables, the cheapest and most popular form of energy.

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  • The announcement does seem to be a big fanfare over not that much, but I think it’s telling that they think they think there is political capital in making a big announcement on reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. Albeit they have framed it as cutting fuel bills, which is an easier sell to fellow Tories. More noise than we’ve made lately.

    The shift to favour electricity over gas is good, but I’m wary of what they think the role of hydrogen will be. I’ve not read any of the details, but I was glad to see the BBC’s Climate Correspondent say that hydrogen was likely to be more suited for industrial use than for domestic heating, but it sounded that his scepticism was matching mine – as in the government itself weren’t making that distinction.

  • Nonconformistradical 30th Mar '23 - 8:36am

    Nothing about reducing energy usage such as insulating homes properly? Perhaps focussed on approaches which might make the already wealthy even better off at the expense of the rest of us?

  • There was a passing reference on this morning’s news, but it sounded like it was not a significant part of the announcement, and not actually new money. The Climate Editor made a point of saying that it was a long term strategy and we wouldn’t see immediate benefits. The other recurring phrase was that it was ‘achievable’. I don’t think you need advanced reading between the lines skills to take that as meaning it wasn’t ambitious.

    A point made by Chris Stark of the Climate Change Committee (Twitter @ChiefExecCCC) was that the press release comes in advance of the detail. Making it hard to make meaningful comment, while the gov more easily controls the narrative.

    They seem to be stuck on wind power being off-shore only too.

  • Jenny Barnes 30th Mar '23 - 10:58am

    It includes a very significant commitment to “pretend” technology Carbon Capture and Storage. Which means – let’s keep burning fossil fuels and pretend we can hide the resulting CO2 for 1,000 years, at the cost of burning 50% more fossil fuel to deal with the exhaust gases. Not going to happen. But it’s a good excuse to provide licences for gas & oil exploration in the North Sea.
    Hydrogen could be useful if stored (possibly in ammonia form) to provide electricity on windless overcast days. Not sensible for home heating, that’s another BAU scam to keep the gas pipes useful.

  • I’m all for researching ways to reduce the quantities of CO2 in the atmosphere, but you just know that under this government it’s no more than a ploy to allow business as usual.

    CCS is so far from being able to work at the scale required, and the financial and energy requirements to do the work of a single tree are substantial. Unfortunately many off-setting schemes such as planting trees are also designed around making money and giving a false sense of safety. Many don’t do what they claim to do, and even if they did – you can only plant so many trees.

    I have seen some commentary along the lines of the government succeeding where ‘lefties’ failed, by focusing on energy security against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine. They are half right. There is a lot to be said for tailoring your message to your audience, but it’s not as if environmentalists haven’t spent years talking about energy security and predicting our current predicament.

  • Peter Davies 30th Mar '23 - 8:16pm

    And not a word on tidal.

  • George Thomas 2nd Apr '23 - 11:12am

    Are there any good articles that I can read regarding carbon capture technology? Basic description seems to be about burying carbon emissions instead, which just seems to be kicking the can down the road.

    The worse our climate becomes the more desperate people will become, the more desperate people become the more likely they are to elect “strong man” leaders and subsequently the more dangerous the world will become.

    Rishi Sunak smiling as he speaks about ambitions regarding this policy is the sort of clip that will be played on Panorama in 20 years time.

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