Booker On The Looming Energy Disaster
By Paul Homewood
Booker takes from three of my recent posts in his column today:
A far darker shadow is hanging over Britain than that of the collapse of our steel industry. As she is the sister of a leading figure in the campaign to keep Britain in the EU, we may not be surprised by the warning from Amber Rudd, our Energy and Climate Change Secretary, that “Brexit” would raise our energy bills by £500 million a year. Her brother Roland, as a key behind-the-scenes strategist for Stronger in Europe, might be described as “the Rudd who doesn’t want us to leave the sinking ship”.
But in making that “half a billion a year” claim, Ms Rudd must hope that we don’t recall those recent figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility projecting that within four years – due entirely to her own Government’s policies – we will be paying £13.6 billion a year in climate change levies alone, up a further £7.6 billion from the year just ending.
Even this is only a small part of the disaster Ms Rudd is heading us towards, as she sets about “decarbonising” our economy by closing down all the fossil-fuel power stations which, until recently, were supplying two thirds of all our electricity, in order to rely instead on ever more “renewables” and those new nuclear power stations which simply aren’t getting built.
Thanks to those rocketing energy costs, many of Germany’s top manufacturing firms, such as Siemens and BASF, are moving their production facilities abroad, with the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Just where this policy is leading us, as I predicted five years ago, can be seen by looking at the one country still ahead of us in the rush for the cliff edge. A long article in Handelsblatt, Germany’s leading business journal, paints a devastating picture of the chaos now resulting from its pursuit of a “green” energy policy remarkably similar to our own (except that, post-Fukushima, their 17 nuclear power stations have been closing down even faster than ours).
Already 77 nuclear and fossil-fuel plants have closed. Their largest power companies, RWE and E.On, have run up debts totalling £43 billion. And after £170 billion was poured into “green” subsidies, giving it the largest number of windmills in Europe (26,000) and causing huge problems for its grid when the wind isn’t blowing, Germany’s electricity bills have soared to the point where last year 350,000 customers were cut off because they couldn’t afford to pay.
Thanks to those rocketing energy costs, many of Germany’s top manufacturing firms, such as Siemens and BASF, are moving their production facilities abroad, with the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs. Those jobs are going not least to the US, which has energy costs less than half of Germany’s (the same effect is seen here in Britain, where our “carbon tax”, crippling energy-intensive industries such as steel, is now four times higher than anywhere else in the world).
Yet the irony is that last year Germany’s “carbon emissions”, due to increased demand for heating and the burning of cheap “dirty” coal to keep costs down, actually rose. Ms Rudd may claim that her energy policy is “setting an example” to the world. But if she wants to know what happens next, even before our lights have gone out, she should look instead at the example being set to us by Germany.