Green or renewable energy firms remain up in arms about the prospect of a fuel price freeze for consumers if people elect Labour the next general election. Reports are emerging that large investments in renewable energy are likely to suffer and that is not going to help the UK meet its carbon reduction targets of an 80% reduction from the 1990 baseline by 2050. That may seem like a long way off, but it could be as short as five prime ministerial terms, which begs the question of whether our political terms are hindering our drive for lower carbon emissions in the UK?
Vote Bait Damaging Renewable Energy Initiatives
There’s little doubt that the renewable energy market will pay the price for politicians who consider telling people what they want to hear more important than producing a long-term plan for greener and sustainable methods of energy production.
Given the optimistic targets, you would think that the government would be keen to invest heavily in renewables, but the exact opposite seems to be happening with the UK government helping BP fight court battles in the U.S. to win new federal contracts and reduce the number of false claims. This report from the BBC explains how U.S. firms unaffected by the environmental disaster, to which BP admitted responsibility, are now seeking to claim compensation from the UK oil giant.
Jobs and Votes
Obviously, we must protect jobs, but the rise of fracking for shale gas in the U.S. has already reduced the profitability of Oil for use in power stations and I would like to suggest that our government should spend our money on creating jobs here in a renewable energy market. Businesses like B.P. have raked in billions over recent decades, so can’t these industries stand on their own without the need for government assistance?
Surely, more votes would be forthcoming if we had low cost energy generated locally and in a cleaner environment? How about focussing on building an electric charge network for electric cars so petrol prices are no longer an issue and concentrate on using renewables to generate the energy required to charge those cars. A government willing to take the hard route with a long-term plan would win my vote. Electrifying more of the railways is a good start and recent initiatives have been a move in the right direction, but there simply isn’t enough focus on clean energy production infrastructure.
Long Term Development of Energy Efficient Products
When the move to do away with the traditional tungsten filament light bulbs took place, governments around the world made a positive move that benefits the environment because of the lower energy consumption alternatives that replaced them. However, technology exists to further reduce consumption with alternatives and while it’s not a good idea to wipe an industry out overnight, surely, the need to reduce our carbon emissions should be a big enough driving factor to force through further change? At the moment, it seems as though energy efficiency is only driven by the high cost of fuel.
This is a guest post by Shaun Thomas who is working with World of Solar to promote the use of green energy products in the home and businesses in the UK.
Image credit: Simon Howden via FreeDigitalPhotos.net