The national grid would be nationalised under a Labour government so that £13 billion would no longer be paid to shareholders each year and more investment would be targeted at decarbonisation, the Shadow Business Secretary, Rebecca Long Bailey, announced today. Heat and electricity would be made a “human right for all” under the radical new policy which has the personal support of Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour party leader. A Labour party spokesperson said: “Privatisation of the UK’s energy grid is ripping off customers. 25 percent of energy bills is paid out to network companies. This is used to line the pockets of shareholders, with over £13 billion paid out in dividends over the last five years.”
Ecologist 16th May 2019 read more »
BRINGING ENERGY HOME: Labour’s proposal for publicly owned energy networks.
Labour Party 16th May 2019 read more »
Labour’s energy plans are nothing less than state-sponsored robbery. ver since the shock result of the EU referendum, business has largely been consumed by one issue: Brexit. The overwhelming majority of business figures, at least those that lead large companies, backed Remain. These days, something much more troubling is keeping our captains of industry awake at night: the prospect of Corbyn-led government.
Telegraph 18th May 2019 read more »
Liz Truss: After years of flirting with the idea, we’ve finally seen Labour’s plans to renationalise the energy industry. As always, far from being a panacea, this shiny, expensive policy would turn out to be a disaster. We can rehearse the arguments about why privatisation works and nationalisation doesn’t. From supermarkets to mobile phone providers, having more choice is good. It forces firms to take their customers’ views seriously, punishes those who take them for granted, and creates openings for upstarts to come through with a better product at a lower price. Just like all companies, energy firms compete with each other to offer the best price and service. There is more to do, but our reforms mean…
Telegraph 15th May 2019 read more »
Jeremy Corbyn’s cut-price power grab. Labour’s refusal to pay the going rate for nationalising the utilities could make Britain into a pariah nation, warn Tommy Stubbington and Rachel Millard. In a document titled “Bringing Energy Home”, Labour said a return to public ownership was necessary to lay the groundwork for a “Green Industrial Revolution”, accusing bosses such as Pettigrew of neglecting investment in infrastructure in favour of paying themselves inflated salaries and handing excessive dividend payouts to shareholders. Labour said the amount of compensation handed to the owners of companies such as National Grid should “be decided by parliament”. That phrase, sure to have sent chills through boardrooms, highlights the most contentious aspect of the party’s thinking on renationalisation: the idea that a Corbyn government would pay less than market value to bring utilities back under state control, making deductions for “asset stripping” under private ownership, and state subsidies. Citizens Advice, the consumer group, says companies such as National Grid are making “eyewatering” and “unjustified” profits at the expense of higher energy bills.
Times 19th May 2019 read more »
Corbyn the energy-sector snatcher makes the SNP look Thatcherite. Power to the people! Well, power networks, at any rate. Jeremy Corbyn’s big idea to nationalise the companies that control the nation’s £62bn energy infrastructure — the pipes and cables bit — at less than their market value must have sounded like a pretty clever wheeze when he first thought of it. What could go wrong? I mean, appropriation of private property always went down well at the north Islington branch meetings of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Stalinist Doctrine in my misspent youth. Shareholders appear to be the new kulaks. In the event of a Labour election victory, investors in affected companies, including Glasgow-based (but Spanish-owned) Scottish Power, and Perth-based SSE, would face a severe haircut, since compensation would be determined by parliament rather than market value. Many of those investors will be ordinary people who bought shares for the first time when Margaret Thatcher privatised the energy sector in the 1980s. Once the shareholders are dealt with, Labour would establish new local Soviets, sorry, energy boards, staffed by political appointees and environmentalists, to manage the network.
Times 19th May 2019 read more »
The official advice that the Committee on Climate Change recently gave to Government, that the UK should become a ‘net zero nation’ by 2050, will, if adopted, change more than the speed and eventual depth of decarbonisation. A net zero target changes decision-making qualitatively and quantitatively… in at least five ways. 1, It’s the whole economy, stupid. The UK’s existing target, of reducing emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050, encourages a significant degree of woolly thinking from both business lobby groups and Government. Any business sector or any individual big company can see the remaining 20% and think ‘I’ll have a slice of that’… and plan its business as though it will get it. 2. Net zero changes the choices. In some cases, the goal of eliminating emissions will lead to different choices than a goal of reducing emissions. In simple terms; if your choice cannot get to zero or very close, it is a poor choice. Home heating is a great example here. Without doubt, the easiest and least disruptive way to reduce carbon emissions here is low-carbon gas. We see examples of projects exploring this up and down the country already – inject some biogas into the grid, inject some hydrogen – lower the use of fossil gas, and thereby trim emissions. With both biogas and hydrogen there are supply constraints and alternative users clamouring for the product – industry will undoubtedly be using more hydrogen, and we’re starting to see hydrogen trains entering service. The manufacturing processes for these gases also need to be guaranteed zero-carbon. Unless government is sure these problems can be solved, and sufficient zero-carbon gases available in 2050 and thereafter, then a gas switch, convenient though it would be, cannot be the nationwide choice in a net zero world, where it might have been in an 80% world. 3. 2050 is a cut-off… which means acting now. 4. There is no long grass for ‘difficult’ decisions. 5. ‘Net zero nation’ – but not ‘net zero island’ Assuming ministers accept the Committee’s advice, the UK will be far from being the only nation moving to net zero. Within Europe, Sweden, Norway and Denmark are already committed – Iceland too.
ECIU 13th May 2019 read more »
John Cossham last drove a car the day he passed his test in 1994. He took his last flight in 1997 and never renewed his passport. “I won’t leave the UK again,” he says. The 53-year-old bearded Yorkshireman has been calculating his carbon footprint since before most members of Extinction Rebellion were born. According to the Resurgence carbon calculator, he emits 2.3 tonnes of carbon a year, less than one quarter of the UK average. Now – with the threat of global climate collapse on the horizon – it looks like the rest of the world will have to put this distant academic concept into practice. We need to cut down on meat, travel and change the way we power our homes, experts say.
Independent 18th May 2019 read more »