Dave Elliott: The various post-Covid recovery plans often talk of rebuilding better- using the need to rebuild as an opportunity for adopting better ideas, including the use of renewable energy. However, most top-down national government programmes focus on fast impact options for hard hit sectors, not usually involving much change in approach. That may be inevitable: it may often be easier, faster and cheaper to patch, fix and mend than to start something new. Some environmentalists of course think that we need more and that most industries and sectors are in need of radical change: the whole thing is broken! But although the impact of Covid has been bad, in reality, only a few industries and sector are seriously damaged and a firefighting approach is likely to be adopted- dealing with each independently. With Covid, we are now faced with a new situation- the need to revamp the global economy quickly. It’s not clear if nuclear is much use for that, whereas renewables may be. And beyond just technology, it’s not clear if we should just try to restart the old economy unchanged. We maybe ought to take a look at the idea of socially useful production that emerged from the Lucas campaign and also Mike Cooley’s inspirational work on human centred technology. In addition to the legacy of work on socially useful production, its good to see that Mike’s son Graham is CEO of ITM Power, the Sheffield-based green hydrogen ‘Power to Gas’ system pioneer, pushing ahead with this challenge to the technological status quo.
Renew Extra 5th Dec 2020 read more »