Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Renewables - the turning tide

Scottish climate change policy has a significant impact on energy decisions in Scotland.  The SNP government has trumpeted its 'groundbreaking' climate emissions and energy targets. Caught up in hyperbole recently, Alex Salmond described renewables as "the biggest opportunity in 10,000 years"!.

Bill Jamieson is the Executive Editor of the Scotsman and doesn't agree. His column in The Scotsman on Thursday (24th Nov) is well worth reading.  Here are a few extracts.

  • ". . . Scotland's massive gamble on renewables. . . 
  • "From America comes troubling news for the renewables lobby. Reports are legion of bankruptcies, green jobs that failed to materialise and a notable cooling of the rhetoric on global warming as the country now finds itself on the brink of a breathtaking boom – in fossil fuels.
  • "From Europe come warnings of failed renewables projects, disappointing results and voter disillusion."
  • "And from nearer home comes troubling evidence of how the push in renewables is destroying jobs and confronting millions of households with huge rises in energy bills.
  • "For every green job created by the Spanish government, Calzada found that 2.2 jobs were destroyed elsewhere in the economy because resources were directed politically and not rationally.
There is much more cogent analysis in Bill Jamieson's article.  His conclusion is spot on.
  •  do not doubt the geo-political case for renewables, nor that there should be renewables in our energy mix. But energy produced at a horrendous cost that drains the budgets of households and depresses spending elsewhere is neither a rational energy gain nor a “stimulus boost”. It is edifice economics, founded on sleight of hand taxation and powered by a gale of hope. We are going to need more than this to have a hope of keeping the lights on.
It is evident that current energy policies have been shaped by a belief in catastrophic man made global warming.  Perhaps catastrophe could conceivably be round the corner.  But not on the basis of our current scientific knowledge which has been misunderstood and manipulated.  And that has real and negative consequences.

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