So do we trust the politicians?

Here\’s the real problem with all this low carbon energy malarkey:

And even once you take all of these changes into account, they still might not be enough to make the energy industry invest. As one executive observes: \”Can we trust the Government to keep its word on the pricing regime once the full impact on household bills strikes home? Somehow I doubt it.\” George Osborne\’s smash-and-grab raid on North Sea oil in the last Budget gives every reason to suppose that good intentions will eventually take second place to political expediency. The big companies won\’t invest if they suspect, even remotely, that it\’s on the basis of empty promises.

Whatever the system that\’s set up, carbon price floor, feed in tariffs, carbon trading, carbon tax, ROCs, taxes, subsidies, absolutely whatever, they all depend upon the government keeping its word. For decades.

And we think the chances of that are what?


Feed in tariffs have lasted 14 months before their first radical change. The North Sea tax regime has been tweaked (umm, radically changed) by both Grodon Brown and G. Osborne in the last decade alone.

Politics, facing as it does yearly council elections, 4 or 5 yearly national elections, 5 yearly Euro elections, all on different cycles, isn\’t really known for having firm, settled, non changeable, policies for a couple of decades.

Yet whatever the policies are they need to be believably committed to for at least those couple of decades.

I wouldn\’t hold out much hope here.

3 thoughts on “So do we trust the politicians?”

  1. The present system of bribes and grants of tax-payers money to renewable energy carpetbaggers and cowboy installers is clearly unsustainable, and the projected rise in domestic energy costs is political suicide. Look for the disgracing of Huhne and government acceptance of a cooling Gaia to give Cameron the excuse for a u-turn on energy provision.

  2. I’m going through the same thought process on a smaller scale. I’ve just received a quote for solar panels and without going in to details it shows a 10-year payback on the installation.

    Leaving aside whether or not the technology will last that long, do I trust current and future politicians to honour the FIT and other commitments?

    Tim’s examples confirm my scepticism.

  3. SimonF
    Don’t do it! Look at the difference between the FIT and the market price per kwh. Someone has to subsidise this loss.
    Here EDF has to pay a FIT for solar but gets subsidy of less than the difference. They are slowly going bust unless the rules change.

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