21 October 2014

Power to the People

What if we could support a democratic state in North Africa by buying clean, green electricity, and potentially at the same time start greening the Sahara desert? It's a bit of a no-brainer and we need to monitor carefully how this bid is handled.

We know that the primary way of tackling our power needs is to reduce demand through energy efficiency (which is already happening) and that storage is also vital. It's also well worth reading the IPPR Report "Beyond the Bluster" that shows just how much of our energy needs can be met by wind, and that even if the wind doesn't blow in the UK for a few days, Denmark, Germany and our European partners will be producing more than they might need.

Finally, we have local solar, hydroelectric power and other non-conventional options which can all make a contribution. I'm an optimist about this. With wind dropping below the price of coal for energy generation, the writing is on the wall for fossil fuels and eventually nuclear. How fast we are going to get there will be about political willpower and our coalition government have been pursuing fracking and nuclear options instead. History will record that as a serious misjudgement not just environmentally, but economically too.

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