British Gas is putting up the price of its dual fuel tariff by an average of 5.5 per cent at the end of this month. EDF, whose standard tariff is already one of the most expensive, will raise it by a further 1.4 per cent next month. In the longer run, the widespread hope is that we will be saved by alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind. And indeed, these have become much more efficient because of major technological advances. A greater reliance on solar and wind power has led in general to higher, not lower, electricity prices. Michael Shellenberger of the California-based Environmental Progress think tank sets out the evidence in a couple of fascinating columns in Forbes magazine. In 2017, the share of electricity coming from solar and wind was 26 per cent in Germany and as much as 53 per cent in Denmark. Yet these two countries have the most expensive electricity in Europe. In 2017, Germany spent €24.3bn above market electricity prices for its renewable energy feed-in tariffs. Using evidence from across the individual states in America, Shellenberger shows a very strong and positive correlation between increases in the importance of the two alternative energy sources, and the rise in electricity prices over the 2009-17 period.
City AM 2nd May 2018 read more »