The latest gloomy review tells us that there is now too little spare capacity in our electricity generating system. The Energy Secretary tells businesses to prepare for reductions in supply, and suggests a system of offering them payments to avoid using electricity at times of stress in the system. This is not rationing, we are told. More accurately it is the acceptable face of rationing as it not compulsory and offers compensation for the inconvenience of too little supply.
The problem with this approach is it is still damaging to the UK economy and to consumers. We, the consumers, will have to pay for the payments to business to scale back their consumption. We are going to have to pay higher prices for our own power, as Mr Davey uses the price mechanism to ration energy use further.
The main reason we are in this predicament is our membership of the EU, which has driven a policy of dear energy and has now required us to close some of our power stations prematurely as the EU is against their emissions of CO2. The failure of the previous government to make alternative provision has compounded the problem. They did, of course, sign up to all this at EU level in the first place without considering how to keep the lights on.
Mr Davey now has to cut loose from his pro EU pro dear energy sympathies and show he can solve our immediate and growing problem. I have called for the retention of the power stations that we have recently closed for a period whilst we are building new conforming plant to generate power. This is an easy and cheap way of resolving the crisis. All Mr Davey has to do is to negotiate a derogation from the Enissions Directive for a limited time whilst he sorts out the underlying problems of power supply.
We are told Euro friendly Ministers have influence in Brussels. We are told by Europhiles that Brussels is there to help make us more prosperous. This is a simple way to test out these propositions. Surely Brussels can see that driving up the price of energy and finding acceptable ways to ration are the last thing the UK needs at the moment? It’s time for Mr Davey to save our recently closed power stations, and have them available to produce the power we need for the next few winters.
The EU would be well advised to grasp that of all its unpopular and costly policies which damage the UK, dear energy is one of the most unpopular.