A personal view of the File on 4 programme:
I found it powerful and accurate, in particular because it used a wide range of interviewees across the full span of renewables industries devastated by the long-running strategy of the civil service to hold us back in favour of nuclear and shale gas, which has found full expression in this current government.
I found it very sad that energy minister Claire Perry said she is talking to, and listening to, the solar industry. Well not in the case of Solarcentury, currently the fastest-growing UK-based international solar player.
I have sent a tweet asking her and her department how many times they have met representatives of the nuclear industry and the shale frackers.
The government in Australia has a similar obsession for coal and coal seam gas, recently adding nuclear to their wish list to highlight their ‘green’ credentials.
I find that incredibly frustrating that our recently deposed PM, Malcolm Turnbull was so unsupportive of the incredible solar and wind opportunities our weather systems provide, especially given his very enthusiastic keynote address at the launch of a report I was involved in producing – Zero Carbon Australia 2020 (ZCA 2020 – Beyond Zero Emissions). That report provided a roadmap to zero carbon baseload power, based on a mix of technologies including large scale solar thermal (with salt storage). It was released in 2010, when Turnbull was opposition leader. His tune changed to muted support of coal and gas after becoming PM and we’ve seen no engagement with the renewable since ( although his recent removal was at the behest of a far right faction who still saw his energy policies as a threat to Australian coal and gas). The new PM, Scott Morrison, once brought a lump of coal into parliament to show politicians that it wasn’t scary….. No surprise, he is already talking about winding back our Paris commitment, which he says “we will meet in a canter”, even as empirical evidence shows our emissions rising at an unprecedented rate.
Powerful forces are at work.
Thank you for your continued commitment to renewable energy. Your insights are always gritty and inspiring.
Nothing is for free? Period… The new sources of energy is a reality and seems to be a huge contender when weighed on the O2, Climate warming, Energy consumption of raw materials, deforestation and climate change in general for the next era of human survival on planet earth. See Dr Patti Greer’s films on Award Winning films regarding Crop Circle Notes and her related interviews regarding the Prof Dr Searle’s SEW Device. It has been Researched and Deciphered by a well known UK Electrical Engineer and found to be legit, then, at the time already, decades ahead of its time. Patty had the guts to pull the uhm and ahh out of these gents in the international public eye, for us as all proceed unhindered not to be executed by the Illuminate and/or superrich alike. We have a functional unit in South t world-wide. Like most of us on this Globe today, we are just a bit Cash Trapped and are looking for investors.
Unfortunately the first half of the programme is based on an unexamined fallacy- that bio-ethanol is better for the environment. The reality is that using crops to run vehicles uses limited farmland or requires conversion of wilderness ( as with the imminent extinction of orangutans due to expansion of palm oil to provide bio-fuel for the EU etc).
Either way- less food for the poor or less wilderness, annual farming especially has a serious negative effect in purely carbon terms: 1: removal of natural cover (biomass) keeps more CO2 in the atmosphere; 2: tilling soil speeds respiration and loss of CO2 to the atmosphere; 3: growing crops uses carbon consuming machinery and chemicals, as does the harvesting, transport, and conversion to product.
So the net effect is the transfer of carbon from soil, vegetation( and associated animals) and fossil reserves to the atmosphere.
When the figures are crunched bio-fuels are worse for climate change than using fossil fuels, the carbon from which would be taken down much faster by wilderness than it can ever can be by crops by many many times.
Dear Jeremy – as one of the pioneer householders in my town I put up solar panels and moved to “Good Energy” as my supplier. I have seen the FIT gradually dwindle and now as I understand it I am to supply my electricity to the grid for free from next April. I intend to invest next in batteries to ensure this lot dont get anything from me but I am seething over this policy change. You have my full support!
I have also written to her with a copy to Mr Chope (My MP) explaining to her, that British innovation is moving overseas, due to there negative solar policy, which in my own case in the greater use of solar thermal and the move towards PVT and large scale thermal storage as I have developed, but is only produced in Sth Africa through http://www.thermocube.biz