UK Energy Secretary Amber Rudd on Wednesday announced a reset of British energy policy, prioritising gas and nuclear power stations after acknowledging that the obsession with so-called green energy has gone too far.
Interestingly Ms Rudd has also said that wind and solar farms will be expected to pay for the extra costs they impose on the system due to their intermittency.
UK renewable energy subsidies currently total £68 per household per year and are expected to rise to £141 by 2020 and £226 by 2030. Economy-wide these subsidies will add up to £9.1 billion per year by 2020. But renewables still can’t provide reliable electricity.
However, proving that politicians like to walk both sides of the same street, the Minister also wants to phase-out coal-fired power stations by 2025. Mandating the end of coal when it is responsible for 29 per cent of the United Kingdom’s electricity and proposed new gas and nuclear plants are way behind schedule, is a bold call.
The problem is not coal – the problem is that government policies have discouraged the private sector from investing in modern coal power plants.
Governments should not be in the business of mandating which sources of energy are allowed to compete in the marketplace.