Successful economies today have governments prepared to take a strategic approach to how development takes place. The old idea that simply exposing new industries to the full blast of competition will promote their development is increasingly discredited... But the Tories are stuck in the past, and ducking the challenge. In November, the UK became the only G7 country to increase fossil fuel subsidies. We are paying out £6billion a year, almost twice the financial support we provide renewable energy providers - which we are now continuing to cut. After the deal struck in Paris over the weekend, the shift to a low-carbon economy is inevitable. The government should be supporting this transition, not hampering it.
I'm delighted to have discovered a leaked 'damage limitation' briefing, sent to David Cameron from advisers, ahead of his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week. The paper gives some useful advice on what Mr Cameron should say to 'extract' himself from a damaging and embarrassing deal involving Chinese finance for nuclear new build...
Blindingly simple logic dictates the goal of this programme. Once carbon-free energy costs less to produce than energy from fossil fuels, the fossil fuels will just stay in the ground. So the target for the GAP is to reduce the cost of clean energy and to do it fast. Within 10 years base-load electricity from wind or sun is to become less costly than from coal throughout the world.
One of the rocks that climate change sceptics like to throw at those advocating action to tackle climate change is that it's all very well for the rich developed world to reduce its carbon footprint but it's immoral to ask the world's poor to give up cheap energy such as coal. Yes, climate change may be happening, they say, but it's unfair to pull up the fossil fuel ladder from developing countries.
Scotland has been cited as the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy, to harvest that potential to the full, Scotland will need to remain a part of the United Kingdom. Furthermore whether independent or not, the Scottish economy must transition itself further away from fossil fuels rather than developing closer bonds with a dirty energy system. I urge the Scots to vote no to Independence on Thursday.
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:
The 18th September is now just over two months away, and as the two camps make their final push in persuading Scottish nationals either to stay put in the UK or run from it as quickly as humanly possible, it seems worth taking stock of what the clean energy landscape may look like in a post-referendum, independent Scotland.
This week's announcements on fracking, including David Cameron's pledge to "go all out on shale gas", triggered yet another shale gas frenzy in the UK media. Yet, despite all the hype and the announcement of better benefits for communities hosting shale gas projects, nothing has fundamentally changed when it comes to the likely impacts of shale gas on the UK's energy market.