Over the next decade, Britain is expected to spend some £200bn on overhauling its entire energy infrastructure. Chris Huhne, the energy secretary, tries to justify this colossal price tag by pointing to the future opportunities presented by “green growth”. He reckons the UK can reap a huge dividend by becoming a leader in renewable energy technologies, allowing us to penetrate new export markets in emerging economies.
But an energy conference organised by the Financial Times in London threw several buckets of cold water over Huhne’s optimistic theory.
The Guardian has a interesting article on how the UK coalition government is quietly watering down its commitment to the tough emissions standards its politicians championed whilst in opposition.
Notably, it’s dropping the so-called “environmental performance standard” (EPS) from its first energy bill, expected later this year. The introduction of EPS was intended to incentivise power companies to use more efficient technology in building new power stations and restrict greenhouse emissions from coal and gas plants.
The omission raises the possibilty that dirty coal-power plants, such as the one in Kingsnorthin Kent, will go ahead in spite of strong opposition to the project by David Cameron, George Osborne and Nick Clegg whilst Labour was in power.
The move is likely to draw further criticism from enviromentalists against the coalition government’s energy policy, which supports nuclear power.
Please go to the Guardian website for the full article.