Expensive Green Energy A ‘Bad Gamble’ As Gas Price Drops – Britain’s Green Energy Fiasco Deepens

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Families face paying up to £40 extra each year for wind and solar farms to meet climate change targets after the government revised its energy price forecasts. The subsidy required for each unit of renewable electricity will rise after the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) conceded that gas was much cheaper than it had predicted. A glut of gas on the world market means gas-fired power stations have become cheaper to run, making wind and solar farms comparatively even more expensive.—Tim Webb & Ben Webster, The Times, 3 October 2014

Peter Atherton, energy analyst at Liberum Capital, said that green energy was “always a hell of a gamble and now looks like an increasingly bad gamble”. “Year after year [energy secretary] Ed Davey has been banging on that one of the core reasons [for backing green energy] is to protect ourselves against inevitably high and volatile fossil fuel prices. Now their own forecasts are saying fossil fuel prices are going to be very affordable,” he said.—Emily Gosden, The Daily Telegraph, 3 October 2014

The impact of rising household energy bills will be greatly reduced by climate change policies which could save consumers around £166 by 2020, according to the energy and climate secretary, Ed Davey. “Global gas price hikes are squeezing households. They are beyond any government’s control. The analysis shows that our strategy of shifting to alternatives like renewables and of being smarter with how we use energy is helping those who need it most to save money on their bills,” he said.—John Vidal, The Guardian, 27 March 2013

In a bizarre statement, energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne told the House of Commons that his [green energy] policies mean consumers will actually be better off. Dr Benny Peiser, of the Global Warming Foundation, said Mr Huhne’s reassurances were ‘political spin’. Government policy is based on an assumption that gas prices will continue to rise, but Dr Peiser said the price could fall. He said: ‘Prices are likely to come down very significantly.’—Sean Poulter, Daily Mail 24 November 2011

By 2020, British Energy & Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne routinely insists, families and businesses in the United Kingdom will be better off – despite his plan to shift the country towards expensive renewable energy. His claim is based on the assumption that the price of fossil fuels can only go up as we “run out” of oil and gas supplies. As a result, energy prices will inevitably shoot into the stratosphere, making very costly renewables competitive in the future. I am afraid Huhne’s assumptions are misguided. In reality, we are in the middle of a global natural gas revolution. Indeed, gas prices have dropped by half in the United States in the last two years as a result of a glut in cheap shale gas.—Benny Peiser, Public Service Europe, 19 January 2012

As we look at UK energy policy now, DECC has had the country make a massive financial gamble on the back of a prediction that was wholly unfounded and which has been obviously so for many years. We now learn that DECC has also distributed this astonishing wave of public money in a manner that can only be described as monstrously incompetent, and which many will assume to be monstrously corrupt. Any reasonable person would close down DECC right now and lay off all the environmentalists who staff it.—Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, 3 October 2014

Global warming is a ‘public health emergency’ that will cause thousands of deaths worldwide, a leading medical journal warns. The BMJ’s editor Dr Fiona Godlee calls on the World Health Organisation to declare the issue a public health emergency – putting it on a par with the current ebola outbreak in West Africa. Dr Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Forum accused the BMJ report of being needlessly alarmist. ‘The World Health Organisation would become a global laughing stock if they were to follow the ridiculously over-the-top demands of a green alarmist editor. There is a real disconnect between what they are saying and the reality.’—Sophie Borland and Ben Spencer, Daily Mail, 2 October 2014