The true cost of our energy

One might be able to agree more with L J Jenkins (‘Halt green nonsenseSolar Panels’, 11 November) and Gordon W Triggs (‘Feeling the burden of green taxes’, 12 November) if they were calling for the removal of all public subsidies for power generation.

All forms of power generation in the UK are subsidised from the public purse through reduced VAT, tax breaks and incentives, the “strike price” guaranteed to generators and the cost of cleaning up after nuclear power.

According to the OECD subsidies for oil, coal and gas alone amount to over three times the subsidies paid to renewables, and it is impossible to calculate the full cost of decommissioning nuclear power stations and dealing with radioactive waste.

The difference is, of course, that “green taxes” are highly visible in our household bills, whereas the tax breaks and incentives are hidden from view in the complex deals that government makes with power generators.

If we were to strip out all public finance support from all energy production then it’s blindingly obvious that renewable energy is the cheapest, for the simple reason that the fuel is free.  It doesn’t have to be mined or manufactured; it doesn’t have to be transported or processed; and there is no waste to be dealt with or stored for hundreds of years until we can find a way to make it safe.

All things being equal, renewable energy has to be the best deal for the climate and the consumer.



About Mr KRoss

It's the same the whole world over; it's the poor what gets the blame; it's the rich what gets the money; ain' it all a bleedin' shame.

One response to “The true cost of our energy”

  1. Mr KRoss says :

    A truncated version of my letter appeared in the South Wales Evening Post on 22 November (not available online).

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