Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd has announced the new energy policy ‘reset’ declaring that energy security is her “number one priority.”
Rudd has declared plans to phase out all unabated coal-fired power plants by 2025 and expand the development of clean energy technology. While this seems like a positive step, it was quickly followed up with a proposal to deliver future energy with the use of new gas and nuclear power plants as well as maximising fossil fuel production from the North Sea.
So why is Rudd so focussed on gas, shale and nuclear? The government claims that renewable energy is too expensive and there is a more cost-effective route to decarbonisation. However, recent evidence has emerged that onshore wind and solar power is already cheaper than Hinkley Point C and has much less risk to the environment.
The question is, will Hinkley Point C eat up all of the budget or will there be funds available for other clean energy projects? It’s looking inevitable that energy users, both domestic and commercial will pay the price for these schemes with growing energy bills.
Not good news for businesses trying to cut their overheads. With diminishing power supplies – our capacity margin is at it’s lowest since 2012 – suppliers will be raising costs to cover payments to reserve plants.
On top of the obvious financial impact, there are also concerns over the environmental implications of rejecting solar and wind energy in favour of nuclear and gas. Rudd however appears unperturbed by public objection and is thundering on with her desire to promote fracking and nuclear energy. Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, didn’t hold back on the announcement:
“This latest short-sighted announcement compounds the utter failure of this Government’s energy policy. Coal fired power stations are being shut down too slowly and, perversely, they’re being replaced by a new wave of high carbon gas power stations. This switch from coal to gas is like trying to go dry by switching from vodka to super strength cider – it entirely fails to seriously address the real challenge at hand.
Support for nuclear and gas is growing- while help for renewable energy firms, and the thousands of jobs they create, is being slashed. Investing in renewables and energy conservation would be far more effective economically, environmentally and in terms of energy security. We must begin weaning ourselves off gas as quickly as possible.”
As investment in renewables dwindles, so does the focus on energy efficiency.
The Green Deal was casually omitted leading us to believe that this scheme will not be reinstated.
So the government will no longer help businesses or households to make their properties more energy efficient meaning consumers don’t have the funds to make changes that will cut their consumption or costs.
Our advice to customers is to lock in your energy contracts so you can protect your business against future price hikes. We can help. As a business energy broker, we compare over 30 suppliers to get you the best deal on your gas and electricity.
Business Juice customers save an average of £2,110 on their energy contracts!