Tag Archives: gas

I’ve changed my mind on renewables targets

Off sure wind turbineThis post is by Chris Huhne, former UK energy and climate change secretary from 2010 to 2012 and current co-chair of ET Index which analyses the carbon risk of worldwide quoted companies. He advises Zilkha Biomass Energy and the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association.

One criticism of British energy and climate change policy over the past few years is that it has involved a ‘dash for renewables’ predicated on high oil and gas prices. That is not true.  During my time as secretary of state for energy and climate change, and subsequently, we were careful to balance all three families of low carbon electricity generation: renewables, nuclear and fossil fuels, with carbon capture and storage. The reason? We could not predict the future, and did not know which would turn out the cheapest (or, indeed, what the oil and gas price would be).  In a time of great uncertainty, energy policy should be akin to investing in a portfolio of shares for retirement: however good one share looks now, do not put all your eggs in one basket. Read more

Gas from Norway, coal from Russia: eight graphs on the UK energy system

Gas tank and silosThis post by Robin Webster was first published on The Carbon Brief

The UK’s dependence on energy imports has increased to its highest level since 1976, according to statistics released by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Here’s the story of the UK’s dependence on imported fuels in eight graphs.

DECC released the data at the end of March, about a month after the chief executive of energy regulator Ofgem warned that the country’s dependence on imported fuels could drive up consumer energy bills. Read more

Beer and BBC bias

This post is by Dustin Benton, senior policy adviser at Green Alliance 

Gas holders in Thurrock (cc-by-nc-nd Thurrock Phil) The BBC’s Panorama programme on 7 November made a serious factual error in claiming that renewables are the cause of energy bill rises over the past few years. Two excellent rebuttals appeared almost instantly: one from WWF and one from The Guardian. The BBC should correct its error, but arguably the damage is done. This is because a potentially reasonable debate about future energy bills is being framed by a lie about the cause of past energy price rises.
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The answer to rising energy bills? Pay people to use less

This post is by Dustin Benton, senior policy adviser at Green Alliance 

“I’m sure I’ll take you with pleasure!” the Queen said. “Two pence a week, and jam every other day.”
Alice couldn’t help laughing, as she said, “I don’t want you to hire ME – and I don’t care for jam.”
“It’s very good jam,” said the Queen.
“Well, I don’t want any TO-DAY, at any rate.”
“You couldn’t have it if you DID want it,” the Queen said. “The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day.”
“It MUST come sometimes to “jam to-day,”” Alice objected.
“No, it can’t,” said the Queen. “It’s jam every OTHER day: to-day isn’t any OTHER day, you know.”
“I don’t understand you,” said Alice. “It’s dreadfully confusing!”

From the perspective of an ordinary consumer, the debate over future energy bills looks a lot like this exchange from Alice in Wonderland. Everyone is talking about how to bring prices down, but it’s all ‘jam tomorrow’ (or, in the case of the first dash for gas, which brought our bills down in the 90s, ‘jam yesterday’). Real energy prices have roughly doubled since 2004, with a 17% rise over the past 12 months alone – driven in large measure by the rising wholesale price of gas. Read more