‘Shutting coal power stations is a excellent transfer but undertaking so even though promising a wave of new gas energy stations merely does not go shut to making certain we meet the vitality issues we face,’ writes Caroline Lucas. Photograph: David Davies/PA
The energy secretary’s much-hyped speech (United kingdom to retreat from local climate alter targets, suggests minister, eighteen November) was a stunning exhibit of governmental cognitive dissonance – expressing one point even though performing in an totally contradictory way. Amber Rudd provided heat words about “a new power infrastructure, match for the 21st century”, however her division ploughs ahead with firing up out-of-date substantial-carbon gasoline electrical power stations set to melt away local climate altering fossil fuels for a long time to arrive. Shutting coal electricity stations is a very good shift – and campaigners ought to be applauded for their long-working focus on this important aim – but doing so whilst promising a wave of new gas electrical power stations basically does not go near to ensuring we satisfy the vitality issues we encounter.
Rudd spoke of competitiveness becoming at the coronary heart of our power system, however her govt has dedicated to subsidising outrageously expensive nuclear energy stations even though slashing help for photo voltaic and wind, which are well-known, less costly and more rapidly to deploy. In these critical weeks in advance of the Paris weather talks the authorities is compounding the failure of its shortsighted power technique. By no means has a higher opportunity for rethinking the way we electrical power our communities been introduced to us – yet Rudd and her colleagues search established to squander this distinctive possibility by hiding driving hot air and spin whilst failing to get the urgent motion necessary to deal with weather adjust.
Caroline Lucas MP
Environmentally friendly, Brighton Pavilion
• If Amber Rudd is involved to bring about a consumer-led power method for the British isles, maybe her first act should be to abolish the coalition government’s 2013 statutory necessity for all domestic strength bills to incorporate a standing charge. As well as feather-bedding the vitality firms, standing costs are having a discriminatory impact on tens of millions of reduced-use and/or strength-effective domestic consumers, who in effect spend a increased overall unit price tag for their gasoline and electrical power than do bigger consumers, since any standing cost forms a better proportion of their total strength monthly bill.
For instance, and with standing charges typically £100 pa, any individual whose once-a-year true electrical power expenses are £1,000 pa (overall invoice £1,a hundred) will be consuming 10 moments the sum of electricity of an individual whose electrical power expenses are £100 pa (whole invoice £200 pa), but only be paying out a overall yearly invoice a small over 5 times larger. In short, standing charges need low-use consumers to subsidise the vitality expenses of bigger customers. Standing fees for fuel and electrical energy need to be abolished, and replaced with a one-rate tariff.
• Closure of coal-fired stations has prolonged been seen as an essential part of transitioning us to minimal-carbon power so Wednesday’s announcement need to not occur as a large surprise to numerous in the market. As fears about our tightening ability margin and escalating strength fees increase, price-successful and safe strength must rightly stay as a precedence together with tackling weather modify. The obstacle is to obtain a balance of all 3 of these energy coverage targets – to do so it’s critical that Britain establishes a extended-term vitality policy that accommodates a wide mix of potential types including nuclear, fuel, carbon capture and storage, renewables and new types of capacity like storage, demand from customers-side response and smart meters which can assist shoppers control and decrease their carbon footprint and power payments at an specific and local community level.
An adaptable and present day vitality infrastructure is vital to obtaining this wide blend of potential. The recently announced Countrywide Infrastructure Fee is properly put to support provide this long-expression vitality policy and modern day strength infrastructure. The government need to now construct on their announcement by making sure that this fee continues to be concentrated on these ambitions in the coming months.
Dr Simon Harrison
Establishment of Engineering and Technology
• Amber Rudd justifies her “dash for gas” on the specious grounds that it will halve carbon emissions. Fuel creation and usage generate two greenhouse gases: methane, the primary item and CO2, the combustion item. The two contain carbon but methane is a vastly much more strong greenhouse gasoline than CO2, and even constrained leakage to the environment can drive substantial local weather adjust. This can make the “right” vitality policy contingent on the truth of methane emissions and here Decc has it completely incorrect.
Since 2007, methane amounts in excess of the US, the North Atlantic and Europe have risen sharply, bucking a previous sluggish downward craze. Satellite observations show that this improve is a outcome of fuel escaping from generation wells in the US, and peer-reviewed scientific publications display that the sum launched is in the variety of three-15% of overall production. This is effectively above the benefit that Decc presently assumes in its calculations on greenhouse gasoline emissions, and – alarmingly – previously mentioned the threshold in which strength generation from gas causes more weather adjust than utilizing coal. Amber Rudd have to recognize that no fossil gasoline is satisfactory for potential electric power generation and that our safety and future prosperity depend on a speedy changeover to a zero-carbon economy.
Professor Nick Cowern
• It is barely stunning that the main government of Oil and Gasoline British isles argues from fossil gas disinvestment, but substituting one fossil gas with one more is not heading to resolve climate alter (Letters, 18 November). This technique was tried by auto companies who promoted diesel as an alternative of petrol as a implies of lowering carbon emissions, but unsuccessful to admit that the engineering needed to manage other pollutants from diesel engines would inevitably compromise gasoline performance. The same applies to the replacement of coal with shale gas. It seems desirable till you consider that fugitive emissions of methane are inclined to terminate out any advantage to the local climate.
In any occasion the industry has been advocating gasoline instead of coal for 30 many years, so if this represents a bridge to the promised land of renewable strength, it is top us in the wrong course.
Dr Robin Russell-Jones
Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire
• Amber Rudd cuts “subsidises” to renewable power but by no means acknowledges the £26bn given to the fossil gas sector as highlighted in the IMF report. Weather modify is the most critical problem we encounter – we are not able of managing the enormous normal currents that generate our temperature about the world.
Chair, Pembrokeshire South East Strength Group (PSEEG)
• Is it also late to give the title “Amber” to the next in the series of storms rolling in from the Atlantic?
• Bryony Worthington (Stopping fracking won’t quit local climate modify, 15 September) claims green campaigners want to appear over and above the foreseeable future threats of hydraulic fracturing and worry about the current threats that are creating climate adjust. She is saying fracking will not cease weather alter and the protesters must target on other methods to combat local weather modify that could be completed right now. Even though fracking will not quit climate adjust, it is a big cause why it is happening. The launch of methane into the environment throughout the drilling process and the greenhouse gases when burning all-natural gas all contributes to local weather modify. This is a single massive cycle that continues to take place if practically nothing is completed about fracking now. Protests are a way to draw interest to this problem now and avoid it from being a foreseeable future menace. Ending local weather alter will not come about right away. Change requirements to happen constantly and these protests are the very first steps to ending weather modify.
College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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