I have one fundamental disagreement with those who designed EU energy policies. I think the UK needs cheaper energy. They want us to have dear energy, to make us use less of it.
I do not think it a good idea to drive industries to foreign climes because our energy is much dearer than Chinese or American. It does not cut total CO2 output, merely changes where the CO2 comes from. It gives others the jobs we need.
I do not think it a good idea to worry the elderly and frail about the size of the fuel bill to keep warm, or to squeeze families with ever higher energy prices.
In the last decade the dear energy advocates were far more influential on energy policy than people like me. They persuaded the Labour government here and the EU government in Busssels to build in dear energy as the only alternative. Out would go coal and oil based power stations. In would come wind farms and solar panels. It meant a big increase in costs and prices.
Now people see the extent of their victory many are unhappy about it. The Chancellor has stated clearly that he does want more affordable and reliable power for industry and homes, but finds the UK entangled in a dangerous web of EU rules and requirements which make this difficult to achieve.
The ijventors of our EU energy policy should be rejoicing at the large price rises the energy companies are putting through. It represents the success of their drive for dearer energy, with more to come. Yesterday’s announcement of the nuclear deal shows just how much extra we will have to pay for low carbon fuel. The price was made higher by Labour’s failure to sign up such a deal some years ago when power was cheaper and the UK had more options. It was also probably made higher by Labour’s decision to sell our nuclear industry.
At least action is beign taken to keep the lights on. All the time we are in the EU on current terms it has to be done within the framework of a dear energy policy.