Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 17 February 2024

Labour’s Next Green Policy Disaster: Decarbonising the Electricity Grid by 2030

There’s been a lot of noise about Keir Starmer’s decision to scrap Labour’s £28 billion green spending pledge. But there’s a much bigger green Labour pledge that’s being overlooked, says Ross Clark in the Spectator.

In the melee a more rash policy has been overlooked: Labour’s pledge to decarbonise the electricity grid by 2030 – which brings the present Government’s target forward by five years. This is one of the five great ‘missions’ laid out in the party’s pre-manifesto pitch, along with the creation of a state-owned company, Great British Energy, to achieve it. Not only will it save carbon emissions, Labour claims (without any evidence or published workings) but it will also save us an enormous amount of money, taking “up to £1,400 off the annual household bill and £53 billion off energy bills for businesses” within six years. This is quite a boast, considering the average household pays £1,928 a year in energy bills.

A large part of Labour’s decarbonisation plans are laid out in a document called ‘Make Britain a Clean Energy Superpower’. Labour says it wants to quadruple offshore wind and double onshore wind by 2030, as well as to triple solar capacity. But this is likely to be impossible, not least because the National Grid won’t be able to get hold of enough subsea cables to plug in the required number of extra offshore wind turbines. There are four suppliers of such cables in the world – all of them have full order books until 2030.

Would Labour’s plan be doable even if it could get the required kit – and would it really save households money? Labour’s case is based on the idea that wind and solar energy are the cheapest forms of energy around. It repeats an often-quoted conceit that, at one point in 2022, “renewable energy was nine times cheaper than gas” and asserts that it remains much cheaper.

But the “nine times” claim was never true. It was made by CarbonBrief, a green energy advocacy website. It arrived at the figure by taking the prices paid for gas power at the very peak of the market in the summer of 2022 – £446 per megawatt-hour – as European countries rushed to fill their gas storage facilities ready for winter, following the loss of Russian gas after the invasion of Ukraine. It then compared them with the long-term, guaranteed ‘strike prices’ offered to operators of wind and solar farms over a 15-year period. In an auction in 2022, wind and solar farms agreed to a strike price of £48 per megawatt-hour.

It was like comparing the cost of a bus journey using a season ticket to that of hailing an Uber in rush hour. If you take the average price of gas power over the past 15 years, it is considerably less than wind or solar power.

Read More: Labour’s Next Green Policy Disaster: Decarbonising the Electricity Grid by 2030

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