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28/06/2011   -   Kent Courier Editorial

Are we ready?

By Simon Dudson – Renewable’s Expert, The Little Green Energy Company

As I predicted last month energy prices have risen; Scottish Power announced a 19% and 10% rise to gas and electricity prices, with the other providers expected to follow. 

This month we have also seen Germany commit to ditch all 17 nuclear power plants in response to the disasters faced in Japan.  Their Prime Minister, Angela Merkel has pledged to close all Nuclear Reactors by 2022. Germany depends on nuclear for approximately 23% of its total power generation.  They currently provide around 18% from Renewables and already have aggressive policy's in place to increase this to 35% by 2020.  Solar PV alone can currently provide 20% of demand on a sunny day. 

These figures dwarf what we currently generate by renewables in the UK.  In a country whose power stations are coming towards the end of their working life and few plans for replacements, we are becoming increasingly reliable on energy sources from abroad.  With our solid fuel resources depleting this is definitely a time for change.  We apparently have the 'greenest government ever'?  Why then this month have DECC announced cuts to the Feed In Tariff, causing chaos and huge disappointment in the industry.  Although not affecting the small commercial and domestic markets, decisions like these will not help us reach our ambitious renewable targets and push us further away from energy independence.  Allowing the larger systems in would help relieve a strained national grid and drive the price down for the rest of us. 

We need to be serious about meeting our renewable targets and must support these new technologies.  We can do this at the frontline with support from the current Feed In Tariffs and long awaited Renewable Heat Incentive.  It is now the time to take advantage of these incentives, making a sound financial investment and protecting your homes and businesses against rising energy prices.

Simon can be followed on Twitter @tlgec

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