The conservative election victory has dealt a severe blow to Britain’s green energy industry, campaigners have warned, as the new majority government prepares to scrap crucial subsidies for renewable power; champion the development of polluting shale gas; and make significant cuts to spending. The renewable industry is most worried about the future of onshore wind farm developments, which the Tories have repeatedly dismissed as an unwanted eyesore despite being cheaper than other forms of green energy. –Tom Bawden, The Independent on Sunday, 10 May 2015
British Prime Minister David Cameron has named Amber Rudd as energy minister to tackle such controversial issues as government support for onshore wind farms and shale gas. The energy industry had been keenly awaiting the outcome of last week’s election as all parties had proposed to enact changes around the way the big utility companies are run. It will now be watching whether Rudd will push ahead with Conservative Party pledges to cut subsidies for onshore wind farms and to boost the development of shale gas. —Reuters, 11 May 2015
Energy Minister Amber Rudd used a visit to the region to claim fracking is a “positive thing” that could create skilled jobs for young people. The Conservative MP believes communities can be convinced the controversial process of drilling for shale gas is beneficial to the economy and has the potential to create employment, provided the work can be done “extremely safely.” …Chronicle Live, 10 February 2015
More serious is the fourth issue, and it goes to the heart of national energy policy, which since 2008 has been focused not on security of supply or costs but on climate change and the reduction of emissions through a forced change in the energy mix. The problem is that the provisions of the 2008 Climate Change Act were designed to fit within a European and global deal which would ensure that the costs were shared and that a move to expensive low-carbon fuels would not make Europe uncompetitive. The reality is that there is no global deal, and even in Europe there is no effective carbon price. The UN Paris conference at the end of this year will be the moment at which the failure of current policy becomes obvious. –Nick Butler, Financial Times, 10 May 2015
The first task of this new government is to continue the work on the economy. Calls for an end to austerity are nonsense. We are still borrowing and spending at £200,000 a minute, passing on a colossal debt to our children and grandchildren. With a proper Conservative majority there is a clear opportunity to re-establish cabinet government and possibly to reduce the number of cabinet ministers, and junior ministers, by amalgamating departments. A classic example would be the Department of Energy and Climate Change, whose competencies could be taken over by the environment department. The DECC has spawned a seriously flawed policy, putting our long-term electricity supply in jeopardy. –Owen Paterson, The Sunday Times, 10 May 2015
The green energy movement in America is dead. May it rest in peace. No, a majority of American energy over the next 20 years is not going to come from windmills and solar panels. One important lesson to be learned from the green energy fad’s rapid and expensive demise is that central planning doesn’t work. What crushed green energy was the boom in shale oil and gas along with the steep decline in the price of fossil fuel that few saw coming just a few years ago. –Stephen Moore, The Daily Signal, 8 May 2015
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