Draft Energy Bill - Discussion paper
The draft energy bill released by DECC on 22 May 2012 is a damp squib lacking the required robustness to encourage significant infrastructural investment by the private sector. DECC claims that "the measures are necessary to reform the electricity market to deliver secure, clean and affordable electricity". This paper discusses the flaws in the draft Energy Bill arguing for the real changes that are needed in order to promote energy security and provide for low carbon energy generation in the UK.
London's poor air quality has a damaging impact on health
Image courtesy of The Guardian
London has the third worst air quality in Europe - worse than Paris. The Mayor, Boris Johnson’s draft strategy paper is not much of a stretch from the policies that have already been in place since 2004, when each borough was required to draft and implement Action Plans to tackle the problem of poor air quality. Most of the proposals are adaptation related and not solution oriented.
The £100 Billion cost of Britain's nuclear legacy
Image courtesy of Reuters
Electricity Market Reform represents the biggest shake-up of the utilities industry since privatisation. As the debate on how we produce our electricity rises up the political agenda again, politicians are debating the pros and cons of a new generation of nuclear power plants. The first new reactor to be built in the UK for over 20 years has been given the initial go-ahead at Hinkley Point.
But conspicuously absent is any debate about the hidden costs of nuclear power. Political leaders claim there will be no government subsidy for new nuclear power, the truth is that latest estimates identify nearly £100 billion have been given to the industry in direct and indirect subsidies to 2011.
The taxpayer already pays at least £3.6 Billion per year1 to support the nuclear industry today. If eight new nuclear power stations are built, this subsidy - the hidden cost of providing electricity - will continue to grow. Contrast this to renewable energy sources,2 which carry no hidden costs because they have no long-term harmful health or environmental impacts.
The Government is now proposing a new range of subsidies, including the Carbon Floor price and the Capacity mechanism, both of which will provide substantial support to the nuclear industry