We are now expecting just five minutes from David Cameron at the Clean Energy Ministerial. This is despite its billing as the Prime Minister's first major key note address on the environment since the infamous 'greenest government ever' speech. Here's the speech I would like to see the PM deliver to the meeting of G20 Energy Ministers tomorrow.
"We need to be clear about the importance of our energy market to our economy - and to our standard of living. The ability of our homes, businesses and communities to easily and reliably access energy is the very lifeblood of a developed economy.
And like most of those countries here today, the UK faces huge challenges; in the next 8 years we will need to attract £200bn investment in our energy infrastructure.
The big question, of course, is what technologies we choose to invest in, and whether those technologies will provide the kind of stability that is a prerequisite to continued economic growth.
And we need an economy that is built on a bedrock of sustainable energy not the shifting sands and false economy of unsustainable fossil fuels. And we need to choose those technologies that we know will deliver on time and on budget.
The simple fact is that there is no way of knowing what the price of non-renewable energy resources will be next year. But we do know the price of renewables- not just in terms of where there is a cost of construction, but also where the fuel itself is free.
That helps to provide energy security in the long term, replacing the unpredictable and volatile nature of the international energy markets with cleaner, more reliable and more sustainable energy sources that have a proven ability to deliver.
We have some of the best wind resources in the world, including 40 per cent of total resource in Europe, and our wind farms perform better than their counterparts in Germany and Denmark. As an island nation we have vast wave and tidal resources. We are just beginning to realise the huge potential we have in harnessing solar power, a technology often and erroneously considered solely the preserve of the sunniest countries. All of these energy sources hold the key to securing our long-term economic future.
And at a time when the course our economy might take in the future is so uncertain, we need to choose renewables not just because they are sustainable for us environmentally, but because they are sustainable for us economically. Every pound we invest in renewable energy is a pound invested in perpetuity. Every pound we invest in other energy sources is an investment that will one day be written off.
Investing in renewable energy simply makes sense. It is our recognition of this very point that means that here in the UK, our energy policy will, going forward, prioritise attracting investment in renewable energy ahead of all other forms of technology. We are choosing to do that not just because it makes sense, but because it is the government's responsibility to ensure that our country has an energy market, and therefore an economy, fit for the future.
But the challenges we face are not only about how we source our energy, but how we use it.
For too long our market has remained overly complex and lacked transparency, leading to concerns about large energy companies abusing their dominant market position, leaving energy bill payers hostage to their fortunes. Power has literally been held by the few, to the disadvantage of the many.
That needs to change if we are to create an energy market that tackles the twin challenges of declining fossil fuels and the need to reduce our carbon emissions.
Not only do we need to transform the way energy is produced but the way it is consumed too, and energy efficiency has a vital part to play. We can use less power by doing things in a more intelligent way.
A top-down approach of the government simply telling energy suppliers to charge people more to use energy less will not work. The reality is that giving people, businesses and communities the opportunity and the ability to control their energy is the best way to allow them to control their energy bills and reduce emissions.
The problem we face is that in the past the complexity and risks of generating electricity from unsustainable sources has led to us rely on a market based around large, dirty power plants that leave the consumer completely cut out of the loop.
So just as information technology has created a new era of consumer empowerment in every part of our lives, the accessible nature of renewable technology means that it can do the same when it comes to the energy we use.
And just as my government has sought to pursue a policy of decentralisation of power across education, planning and health care policy, we now need to do the same in energy policy.
So starting from today, my government will ensure that this very principle is at the heart of our policy. We want to create a new market, one which literally puts power in people's hands. And we will lead a fundamental shift in the way we generate, view and use energy, so that the largest number people and businesses possible are involved in generating the electricity they use; whether it be through generating it for their own use, selling power to the grid for others to use or simply by owning a stake in a local project. This new approach means a change the very DNA of our energy market, turning it upside down.
So whether it be by families having greater control over their household bills, businesses having the confidence to invest in growth rather worrying about paying their energy bills, or our whole economy being based on a stronger, more resilient energy system that protects us from a world of increasingly unpredictable energy prices, here in the UK we are committed to harnessing the huge range of renewable resources that we have within our borders. And we're committed to doing so in a way that breaks open the status quo, and puts real people, not faceless corporations, in the driving seat, to, deliver a fairer, simpler and more open energy market that will help us rise to the challenges we all face."
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