The future is battery run

My question on renewables and energy storage to the Minister

The cost of producing renewable energy has fallen rapidly in recent years and is predicted to be cheaper than all forms of nuclear or fossil fuels by the mid-2020s. The only thing holding renewables back is the cost of storing the energy and making it available when we need it. The UK has plenty of wind, sun and tides to power businesses and homes, but we have to invest in the storage capacity to make this a reality.

Storage comes in many forms. Installing a hot water tank in every home that has solar panels would reduce gas bills for heating bath and shower water. If those solar panels are still producing more energy during the day than you need, then a large house battery is an option, especially if you are charging up your electric vehicle in the evenings. Tesla expects that the cost of their home battery pack will drop to a quarter of its current price in the next decade, which makes it possible for millions of homes to get one.

That means that millions of households and businesses will probably disappear off grid in future years, as they switch to renewables, plus storage. This is good news for the planet, but it will primarily driven by consumers seeking the best deal. My question to the government today was focused on what happens to those who can’t afford solar panels, or new water tanks?

Why don’t we bring the costs down even faster by switching government subsidies away from the production of energy from nuclear and fossil fuels, and towards household/business storage? It makes much more sense to invest in a future of decentralised energy production and consumption, rather than the centralised and environmentally damaging industries of the past.




Social justice is as important between generations, as it is within generations

The NUS plays a pivotal role in promoting an understanding of the links between the environment and social justice in this country. So it was a great pleasure to speak at their ‘Green Impact’ Parliamentary reception, which celebrates the way that sustainability has become part of the core business of what the NUS does locally and nationally.

A sense of community links all the anti-fracking campaigns

The common bond between all the towns and villages under threat of fracking in England is their powerful sense of identity and community through the campaigns. Fracking is an imposition, an invasion by big government and corporate power. To represent this common bond, the threatened communities have banded together to produce a Commonweal wheel. It’s inspired by Parliamentary ideas from the Civil War period that power should be invested as close to the people as possible to manage the environment suitably for their sustenance, overriding the interests of the crown and royal decree. Continue reading “A sense of community links all the anti-fracking campaigns”

Will new nukes go broke?

A new German-Finnish study suggests renewables paired with storage systems could power the entire globe by 2050. This is good news for the planet and bad news for EDF, the main company behind the Hinkley C nuclear power station. The study estimates that the cost of making renewable energy available every hour of the day, every month of the year will fall to €52/MWh, well below the strike price set for Hinkley C, which starts at £92 and rises with inflation. Continue reading “Will new nukes go broke?”

£3.1m cost of policing Lancashire frackers

The Lancashire Police have asked the Home Office for an extra £3.1m to recover some of their additional expenses in policing the Cuadrilla site at Preston New Road. That is the equivalent of £8 a Lancashire household and enough to pay for 25 police officer jobs. In 2014, Sussex police got £905,000 for their operation to protect a fracking site. Continue reading “£3.1m cost of policing Lancashire frackers”

My day at a fracking protest

I’ve just come back from a few hours in Lancashire, at the Preston New Road protest against fracking by Cuadrilla. The people who are protesting are a mix of locals, initially reluctantly drawn into the fracas but now pivotal organisers, and experienced campaigners who can supply the outside contacts and good advice.

Continue reading “My day at a fracking protest”

No fracking Mondays


The fight for local democracy and basic ecological common sense continues its frontline on an A-Road in Preston, Lancashire. It is where locals and protectors from across the country have been standing up against the fracking firm, Cuadrilla, and the Government’s dash for dirty gas. Throughout August and September, Green Party members are joining the protests en masse each Monday at Preston New Road. These “Green Mondays” have seen hundreds of Greens taking direct action while promoting the ecological alternatives to fracking. Continue reading “No fracking Mondays”