Look around you. What does every single thing you own have in common? Answer: It would not exist without energy. Energy is needed to make everything, and the more expensive the energy the more expensive everything is, and hence the lower the growth rate of the economy and the poorer we all are. It was the economic boom of the industrial revolution that made us rich, and this hinged on cheap power from coal-fired steam engines. One of the main reasons our economy is now doing so badly is because it has been deliberately sabotaged by treacherous net-zero politicians who have imposed a policy of expensive energy on the country. What we need is the very opposite: a cheap energy policy.
The government has said they will cap energy prices, and that’s fine as far as it goes, but unfortunately it doesn’t go very far at all. A one-handed clap is all I would give. It is just tackling the symptoms, not the cause. The cause of the problem is twofold: (i) too much reliance on unreliable wind turbines (a recent study showed that their output almost never exceeds 40% of their base load – ie. the amount of energy they are built to produce), and (ii) stupid, pointless, masochistic, carbon taxes – known as the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) – that make fossil fuels, and the energy derived from them, more expensive. Unfortunately, our government of morons is just doubling down on the problem and promising more wind turbines! They really are cretins, aren’t they?
The immediate solution to the problem of rising energy prices is firstly to abolish the ETS. Yes, the green loonies will probably call us ‘polar bear murderers’, but the fact is that polar bear numbers are actually on the increase, so let’s start ignoring the eco-fascist nutters. Then we need to stop UK energy producers from overcharging us. They do this in two ways: (i) gas-fired power stations can earn around 50% more by exporting their energy to France using the interconnectors, so they then charge us the same price if we want the energy; and (ii) nuclear, solar and wind energy providers who are paid through so-called Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) are able to charge not the actual cost of their energy (which the Ukraine war hasn’t changed), but the market rate, set by the increased price of gas. This is obviously a complete rip-off! Government action to stop both these artificial cost increases would be a quick-and-easy way of cutting the price of energy for the average household by over £1,400.
In the longer term the only answer is more power stations – you know, the real ones, that produce energy constantly, not just when it’s nice and sunny or when the wind feels like blowing our way. Gas-fired power stations, using gas extracted from the North Sea, can be built quickly. We can also extract onshore shale gas, and this could be done even quicker. And then we need to order nuclear power stations. Not the stupid, expensive, French ones that cost a fortune, take decades to build and then don’t work, but the Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). These will be mass-produced in factories, so will be cheaper and quicker to make. The government says it is in favour of them but is twiddling its thumbs rather than ordering any. The RR design is currently being vetted by the nuclear regulator, which is fine, but instead of waiting for this process to be completed in 2024, and only then placing an order, the better approach would be for the government to get RR to start building the SMRs right away so they can be turned on once approval has been granted. Given that RR has been successfully and safely building nuclear reactors for our military submarines for decades the fact is that the safety approval is a given – so let’s start building these now!
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