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Davey’s Safe Energy Hands


Yesterday, Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change made a speech in which he said, he was playing safe with Britain’s energy future.

“When I was asked to look after the country’s energy and climate change future, some people called me “a safe pair of hands”. When it comes to gas and electricity, I think that’s a good place to start. Not least because some people want me to play it anything but safe. They want me to risk Britain’s energy policy on one solution – one technology. Bet the economy on nuclear. Gamble UK plc only on renewables. Play Russian roulette with shale gas. Well, these safe hands won’t take those kind of risks with jobs and Britain’s growth.”

Now in some sense, it is good and right for the government to invest in more than one technology, if one succeeds and outperforms then fantastic but if one technology were to go wrong, then we have other investments to cover for the failing technology.

That’s all well and good but I also get the feeling that if we don’t put all our eggs in one basket, or put it in another way “gamble UK plc” on renewables then we won’t get the success of renewables that we could achieve.

After all, lets remember that renewables isn’t one technology in itself but several. They are nearly all directly or indirectly powered by the Sun, all apart from tidal power, which is powered by the moon.

If your cautious and bet safe, you might get a modest return on investment, or a modest decline on investment, but the bigger gamble you make, you increase your chance for a big return on investment or a bigger loss. Yes, those investments need to be balanced out, but perhaps Davey is being too cautious.

Personally, I’m not a fan of nuclear at all. I don’t think we should invest in it at all. I don’t like the huge commissioning and decommissioning costs of nuclear programs let alone the nuclear waste, thats generated which won’t decay for centuries.

I admit, we need to invest in oil and shale at the moment to cover ourselves if renewables fail. The big bet should be on renewables, after all why should we rely on a source of energy generated by the past when we can generate all our electricity needs from the present.

The sun hits the Earth with enough energy to power us for years, yet some people on this planet don’t want to use it.

The sun powers our climate including the wind, which is currently howling outside right now, yet people do not want to harness the sheer energy that it produces.

The sun powers the rain cycle, that is used in hydro-electric power.

The moon powers the tides that hit this island every day.

Considering the sheer amount of energy available in renewables and that we are taking energy from the present and not the distant past. I don’t see why we shouldn’t gamble on it.

If Liberal Democrats, want a green future, renewables are the future.

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