Alan Simpson: The messages are no longer subtle. Yet still we fight shy of a recognition that the time for transformational change is now. It may be the only time. The International Panel on Climate Change gives us 12 years to cut carbon emissions in half. As nations prepare for the climate conference in Poland, it is hard to know if anyone’s listening. The good news about this challenge is that this is still doable. The bad news is that while national governments have lost the will to lead, social movements currently lack the means to do so. Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell is insisting that the whole basis of economics has to be rewritten; with climate physics, rather than convenience politics, in the driving seat. A different starting point stood out in a Montreal exhibition of their First Nation tribes’ response to climate change. All of their strategies involved treading more lightly on the planet. One sentence from the T’Souke tribe’s submission captured their fundamentally different way of seeing economics. It read: “We must consider the impact of our actions on the next seven generations.” When you pass clusters of wind turbines with only half of them turning. This has nothing to do with how the wind blows. Existing power stations are given “grandfather” rights, guaranteeing that their output will be taken first by the National Grid. Whenever there’s a surplus, “clean” energy gets stood down, “dirty” keeps on running. Historically, Ofgem turned down proposals to turn this “free” electricity into heat or storage, insisting it had to be charged for at commercial rates. Today, it wants to do the opposite in order to sabotage solar. It wants to end payments to households or businesses for the solar electricity they feed into the grid. Fracking is just the same, with the government using its powers to override local preferences for cleaner alternatives. The only consistent logic behind these follies is that the game is rigged. Britain’s energy market favours the corporate and the unclean.
Morning Star 11th Dec 2018 read more »
What does a business need to know about the global and UK energy transformation that is happening? In this video Michael Lewis, CEO of E.ON UK, and other experts from the company share their understanding of the mega trends affecting business due to the needs of the planet and the renewable energy revolution. Businesses are increasingly becoming prosumers, both producing and consuming energy on site. Additionally, they are taking part in integrated virtual energy systems and buying into the exponential growth in electric vehicles. This is in the context of radical shifts, such as the cost of solar power dropping to half the cost of coal. Mr Lewis observes: “At the heart of everything, of course, is climate change and the need to decarbonise energy. Coupled with that is the phenomenal success of renewable energy. We’ve driven down the costs of renewable energy from just five years ago by around 50 percent.”
Economist (accessed) 12th Dec 2018 read more »