The Conservative manifesto commitment to a regulated cap on standard variable tariff energy prices is “fraudulent” and will not fix underlying problems in the energy market, shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead has said. Speaking to Utility Week, Whitehead explained: “If you just put an energy price cap on and you don’t do anything else to reset the reasons for the price rises you think justify a price cap, you are actually doing something quite fraudulent. Because you are just kicking those price rises down the road.” He said that this seems to be exactly what the Conservative party intends. “When all the fuss about price rises has died down. Then that cap would magically disappear,” and price rises would recur. The Conservative party’s proposed approach “is not any kind of an attempted long term solution to energy price rises,” he insisted.
Utility Week 26th April 2017 read more »
There are plenty of reasons to be alarmed about the future, given not only the increasingly imminent danger of Climate Change, but also the rise of new xenophobic regimes and policies in the United States and Europe: Not to mention a new U.S. Administration that has appointed directors of federal agencies who were hand-picked by the fossil fuel industry and openly deny the scientific consensus on man-made Climate Change. On Wednesday, Michael Liebreich, the founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), provided a potent counter-narrative to attendees at the BNEF Future of Energy Summit in New York City. Liebreich echoes the conclusions of many clean energy analysts, noting that despite what has been described as a “wave of Populism on both sides of the Atlantic”, that the future of solar, wind, and electric vehicle markets are very strong. As usual, Liebreich’s thesis was soundly backed by figures. Prominently, he noted falling costs for wind and solar, with the price of solar reaching a new record low $26.7 per megawatt-hour (MWh) in Mexico. And this is hardly limited to solar – Liebrich notes new record low prices for wind, with even offshore wind reaching a new record low of $49/MWh and merchant offshore wind in Europe.
Renew Economy 27th April 2017 read more »
Letter Hugh McNeal, CEO, RenewableUK: Your leader (Apr 25) suggests using “the prospect of Brexit to reconsider subsidies for renewable energy” but omits to mention the main factors behind the increases in energy bills. A recent House of Lords report showed that the main cause of increases in electricity bills over the past 14 years is international fossil fuel prices. It noted that 90 per cent of consumer bills have nothing to do with renewable energy or climate change policy. In addition, the government’s consumer watchdog, the National Audit Office, pointed out that supporting fossil fuel plants will add £20 to consumer bills by 2020. Independent economic analysts, from Bloomberg to Baringa, have also reported that onshore wind is the cheapest way to generate electricity, bar none – including gas.
Times 27th April 2017 read more »