12 1 min 14 yrs

The sheer folly of the current political obsession with creating a low-carbon economy is crystallised in the news that household gas bills could rise by up to 37% and electricity costs by 13% as the government lines up consumers to pay for a green revolution that would move Britain from oil dependence to a low carbon economy. A renewable energy strategy outlined by ministers yesterday signalled that energy bills could soar by hundreds of pounds, and could push over 2 million extra people into fuel poverty. John Hutton, the industry secretary, said proceeding with business as usual was not an option in the face of climate change, and added that the price of change was "really quite modest".

So, do YOU think a 37% price hike on already record high gas bills is " really quite modest"? Yes or No will suffice!

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  1. The sheer folly of the current political obsession with creating a low-carbon economy…

    And the sheer folly of continuing to rely exclusively on fossil fuels has been demonstrated in the past 12 months during which the price of crude oil has DOUBLED. The huge price increases to users in that time have nothing to do with renewables and everything to do with a growing world population chasing a finite supply of fossil fuels.

    Renewables are the only way forward if the UK is to achieve security of energy supplies.

  2. Peter

    The price has doubled but demand has not. There is a large element of speculation in the Oil price and it will be back under $100 by this time next year.

  3. Bull Henry the Demand has more than doubled in the last 5 years with China and India personal car use alone has increased global demand due to the 100s of thousands that are discovering the joy of the automobile in China and India.

    Tata alone has created a revolution in India where a lawn mower powered car will replace the bicycle. He is using the Henry Ford model of make it cheap and keep it that way so everyone can afford one.

    What hasen’t increased is supply. It’s simple economics. Speculation is based on those very laws that’s why speculators trade whats called futures. They are betting on the future supply versus demand.

    Peter what alternative fuel do you use to heat your house?

    What alternative heating system are they offering to sell you in the UK to take your house off of fossil fuel?

    What does the system cost?

  4. Peter

    No they are not. A balanced mix, including nuclear, is the way forward. More drilling for oil is the way forward. Smart tech is the way forward. Better government policy and incentives on R&D is the way forward. We need balance, not extremism.

  5. David

    I agree about nuclear.

    But it is insane for the UK to be relying on gas from Russia and oil from the middle east when it is possible to significantly reduce dependence by investing in home-grown renewable sources of energy.

  6. I hate to say this but the French are showing us the way to go – and it is not by building windmills.

  7. Peter T

    The problem with nuclear is the long lead time (up to 10 years) between decision to build and power flowing. There are also capacity constraints in terms of engineers, know-how and manufactured components.

    Nuclear capacity will have to be built, if only to replace existing stations due to close in the next 12 years, but in the short term wind power is the only option in terms of diversifying the electricity supply.

  8. David

    Concur, strongly.

    Nuclear is a no brainer. The "no nukes" crowd may want to recuse themselves from all future debate – they have been the cause of a great deal of the problem esp in the US.

    All rock musicians who participated in the No Nukes concerts back in the day, especially Springsteen need to be rounded up and sent to Guantanemo for crimes against humanity snd the planet.

    And, in the US, the "no drilling offshore" crowd need to get off the stage. Rights must be sold and plans must be made to begin drilling offshore and in Alaska. The highest environmental standards must be met, but drill we must and drill we will.

    Nearly all alternative approaches need to be encouraged- including largely symbolic things ( in many areas ) like wind.

    Don’t forget expanded mass transit / rail freight in cities and between them. New York has a very extensive mass transit system, but I can think of maybe ten passenger rail and freight projects that could untangle roads by reducing truck traffic and getting people out of cars. Bet the situation is not much different in London or other big and medium size cities.

    There remains a lot of low hanging fruit in the conservation area. The weekend will begin in about eight hours here. And all through my city, and maybe yours, lights will blaze from Friday, through all day Saturday and Sunday in tall and empty office buildings Very few have received the message about conservation.

    Like George Carlin essentially said, we have bad leaders because we who elect them are bad people. The politicians don’t care because we don’t care. Not enough anyway.Look around.

  9. Phantom

    The UK is already committed to building a new generation of nuclear power stations. But cost and capacity constraints mean that none are likely to be on-stream before 2020.

    The British Isles have enormous wind-power potential due to their position. The same will be true for wave and tidal when those technologies are more proven.

  10. Solar projects put on hold to protect environment.

    Faced with a surge in the number of proposed solar power plants, the federal government has placed a moratorium on new solar projects on public land until it studies their environmental impact, which is expected to take about two years. The Bureau of Land Management says an extensive environmental study is needed to determine how large solar plants might affect millions of acres it oversees in six Western states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. But the decision to freeze new solar proposals temporarily, reached late last month, has caused widespread concern in the alternative-energy industry, as fledgling solar companies must wait to see if they can realize their hopes of harnessing power from swaths of sun-baked public land, just as the demand for viable alternative energy is accelerating.

  11. Henry

    Your comment at 3.01 reminds me of the true story of Ronald Reagan who was coming under pressure to curtail logging in old growth forests. He remarked that trees weren’t perfect and that they sometimes caused death and injury in forest fires etc.

    He was visiting (I think) a college campus. Facing the entrance was a large tree, to which a placard had been attached, which read: "Mr President, please cut me down before I kill again!"

  12. Peter

    Yeah, and it was someone around Reagan’s time that said that pollen and other things that emanated from plants was a form of "pollution"

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