Mike Parker, Chair of SeSaME, writes for the Observer
AFTER promoting the possibilities of a much more ambitious admin venue change last month, it was a relief to see parliament’s outdoor vote queuing discarded, as the penny dropped on the disadvantages of that particular approach.
A key element of the money magicking needed to fund change and our transition to a low carbon economy can be achieved by moving expenditure from high carbon to low carbon activities.
Saudi Arabia is already doing that. We can look and learn from their far-sighted planning. They have massive reserves of energy sources, both low-carbon renewables and high-carbon fossil fuels. They are taking income from selling fossil fuels to the UK and others to invest in solar power generation, aiming to achieve a low carbon economy to supersede dependence on fossil fuels.
Sadly our early honeymoon with fossil fuels in the UK was rather squandered on the precept of “live for today,” unlike the Norwegians who invested some income to safeguard and build financial wealth for future generations.
It’s where our money magicking must come in again. Wind as a power source is infinite. It’s here, it’s ours forever.
The UK’s high average wind speeds produce some of the best conditions in Europe. Both onshore and offshore wind farms are important for the UK in sourcing its energy.
We have invested significantly in offshore wind, installing as much capacity as the rest of the world combined. Yet we haven’t even begun to invest as much as we could in onshore wind.
Incredibly we pay to help safely transport Saudi Arabia’s fossil fuels through the Strait of Hormuz, an oil transit chokepoint. At one time last year we funded two type 23 frigates, and the HMS Defender, a Type 45 destroyer completing a seven month deployment.
One destroyer’s estimated £627 million build cost with £13.5 million annual running costs, plus two frigates costs. Diverting those running costs to our own home grown, infinite onshore wind energy is a future worth aiming for.
So let’s kick the tigers out of our tanks and get the wind in our sails funding home grown renewable energy.