Can we ever trust those in charge to get anything right? From the War in Iraq and the Financial Crisis of 2008 to ructions over Brexit and the Pandemic, and now this: an impending energy crisis which may well send the UK spiralling into a three-day week by Christmas for the first time in nearly 50 years.
Then as now the results were entirely self-inflicted: in 1973 it was the miners who held their own country to ransom; now we are seeing the culmination of two decades of ill-thought out government energy policy come to fruition and damaging the same people in much the same way. This press release by the Global Warming Policy Foundation is scathing in its diagnosis and unequivocal in its remedies:
"The GWPF has consistently warned that Britain's unilateral climate policies under both Labour and Conservative administrations were creating an insecure and expensive energy sector that would ultimately fail due to consumer costs and collapsing security of supply. These warnings are now fully vindicated. Over-reliance on renewables and interconnectors and a failure to maintain a diverse portfolio of energy supply and electricity generation has resulted in a fragile, weather-dependent British system that is critically vulnerable to panEuropean low wind conditions, interconnector failure, and high regional gas prices. "
The GWPF is calling on the Government to:
1. Suspend all green levies on energy bills, funding subsidies temporarily out of taxation, but acting firmly to cancel these subsidies in the near term.
2. Cancel constraint payments, and compel wind and solar generators to pay for their own balancing costs, thus incentivising them to self-dispatch only when economic.
3. Remove all fiscal and other disincentives to oil and gas exploration, including shale gas, to increase domestic production levels.
4. Suspend carbon taxation on coal and gas generation in order to provide consumer relief and ensure security of supply.
5. Re-open recently closed gas storage facilities and support new storage projects.
6. Suspend all further policy initiatives directed towards the Net Zero target, including the Carbon Budgets, the heat pump targets, and the overly ambitious timetable for the ban on petrol and diesel engines, until the UK energy sector has been stabilised.
7. Facilitate the acceleration of building and deploying Small Modular Reactors for both electricity and heat.
The full press release can be read here: