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Miliband's Dirty Choices

The minister’s dilemma: high ideals or low prices - Times Online
As the private sector votes with its investment decisions, Ed Miliband, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, faces an unholy dilemma. He has pinned his colours to the Government’s policy of keeping energy affordable while also boosting the proportion of British energy derived from green sources from 5 to 35 per cent by 2020. He has also pledged to make Britain “the best place in the world to locate or build a low-carbon business”.
All three goals require massive subsidy that the Exchequer can ill afford — unless Mr Miliband chooses to tear up Britain’s vaunted pledge to lead by example in the war on carbon, and allow a new generation of coal-fired power stations such as the one mooted for Kingsnorth in Kent to fill the country’s looming generation gap.
A third of Britain’s generating capacity will become obsolete by 2020. The market will provide new capacity if left to its own devices. But if the current trend continues, it will be dirty.

Can you think of anyone less inspiring in giving you confidence that the lights won't go dim in 2020 than Ed The Horse? His green interventions into the market will mean the worst of all worlds, massive subsidies for schemes that don't work, not enough real power stations and expensive panic measures to fill the gap at the last minute..

Comments

It's not quite true to say that a third of Britain's generating capacity will be obsolete by 2020.

Some of it may be obsolete, but most of it will still be workable, though obliged to shut down in order to comply with the diktats of Brussels - specifically the Large Combustion Plants directive.

We could, to a large extent, solve the problem by telling Brussels where to stuff its directive.

But we won't. The colleagues wouldn't like it. We'd lose influence. And also because we're spineless cowardy-custards.

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