Essay by Eric Worrall
I’m maligned as a ‘green energy sceptic’. I’m not. Dear Guardian reader, here’s what I think
Thu 13 Oct 2022 16.00 AEDT
Critics suggest our growth agenda conflicts with the need to achieve net zero. They couldn’t be more wrong
t is always intriguing to see my own views through the lens of a newspaper refracted away from what I think. Although I am no admirer of Extinction Rebellion, I can assure Guardian readers that I am not a “green energy sceptic”. I am in favour of intelligent net zero in which green energy will play the biggest role.
I’m proud to belong to a country that has cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% since 1990, while growing the economy by over 70% in that time.
Getting the British people on board with net zero requires us to demonstrate that we can go green in a way that makes them better off, not worse off, that drives growth instead of hindering it and that stimulates investment and innovation rather than driving traditional industries to the brink of ruin. The effect we have had on energy-intensive industries increases carbon emissions as we import more from abroad while destroying high-paid jobs in the United Kingdom.
There are ways to make this work which the country is adopting. Consider the Contracts for Difference scheme. This programme has grown to support a bountiful range of renewable energy sources, from onshore wind to offshore, solar power to tidal and from remote island wind to energy production from waste – all while bringing down costs and growing the economy. The drive to produce up to 50GW of offshore wind by 2030 means that this sector alone should grow to support 90,000 jobs.
That is why our recently announced growth plan will accelerate the delivery of major infrastructure projects including onshore and offshore windfarms. This plan will also boost the UK’s nascent hydrogen industry, which will work in harmony with the renewables and gas sectors alike.
We are exploring options to support low-cost finance to help householders with the upfront costs of solar installation, permitted development rights to support deployment of more small-scale solar in commercial settings and designing performance standards to further encourage renewables, including solar PV, in new homes and buildings.
…Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/oct/13/green-energy-guardian-reader-growth-net-zero-liz-truss-jacob-rees-mogg
Order Order has suggested Rees-Mogg may have more than an intellectual interest in promoting green energy – According to Order Order, Mogg’s mum is trying to have a large solar farm approved on their farm land, which would require overturning Prime Minister Liz Truss’ pushback against using farmland for solar projects.
The only evidence I have for this alleged Rees-Mogg conflict of interest is the stories in Order Order, so we should definitely seek a little more corroboration. But if Order Order’s claims about Rees-Mogg’s mum are true, frankly I’m disgusted.
Rees-Mogg has some questions to answer, both about his alleged family interest in covering farmland with solar panels, and his apparent backflip from small government advocacy, to supporting a firehose expenditure of taxpayer’s money on useless green energy.
If solar was the cheaper option, and had any potential to improve the lives of ordinary people, it wouldn’t need government subsidies, market distorting solar quotas, and government provided cheap financing to proceed. Private backers would be falling over each other to provide capital, without any intervention from the government.
Rees Mogg’s claims that green energy has any potential to improve the lives of ordinary people in my opinion are absurd. His lavish offer of government money backed cheap finance to expand the green blight, in my opinion blatantly contradicts his carefully cultivated reputation as a low tax small government conservative.