Last Wednesday I went to Wales. Not for a typically British summer holiday (although we were all wearing waterproofs), but at the invitation of local campaigners of the United Valleys Action Group on the day Caerphilly County Council decided whether to approve or reject a proposed opencast coal mine at Nant Llesg.
Much of the debate, right now, is focused on the optimal energy mix between fossil fuels and clean energies like solar and wind. Important as this debate is, a potentially bigger and broader issue we face in Europe is creating 'new' flexible systems and infrastructure for clean energy which is much less transportable than fossil fuels.
The advent of a strong voice from the medical profession, in the push for a meaningful climate treaty at the Paris Climate Summit in December, is hugely welcome. It is part of a multi-sectoral mobilisation that is offering increasing hope around the world that humankind can see off the climate-change threat, and spin its collective response into a global renaissance.
The announcement has been heralded as a fantastic boost for the British economy and industry, but hearing the news that we're delighted to have struck oil really feels outdated in an age where the coupling between carbon emissions and economy is breaking, sustainability is getting traction and green innovations are re-defining business practices around the world.
Energy security is one of the most talked about topics not only in terms of the debates around climate change action but also conventional policy. Energy price and stability have very real economic implications for any nation and there is now more than ever increasing concern to secure the resource by internalising energy generation.
By placing its logo in thousands of playrooms around the world, Shell tried to insulate itself against anyone who claims that oil companies have no long term place in our society... Not only do our kids influence the way we think and act, they are the opinion formers of tomorrow. And Shell has been trying to buy them off.
Last week, Rolton Group proudly hosted the launch of the latest CTF report, which explores the vital role of a smart grid in the UK. I was invited by Dan Byles MP to open the event, and in my introductory speech I explained why the advent of the smart grid is of such importance for businesses and consumers alike: