Energy Bill payback due from renewables

Renewables are due to start paying back money to consumers this month, as the cost of producing energy from wind and solar drops well below the cost of energy bills. The figures on how much is cut from bills will be announced every quarter, with a small change growing into a more significant sum as the price cap rises in October and the new year.

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Recycling down – blame Covid

Why are the government hiding the fact that English local authorities now burn far more of your household waste than they recycle? A few weeks ago the government put out pages of statistics on the decline of recycling in 2020 and blamed Covid. Some journalists printed it, most ignored it, none looked at how it fitted a long term trend of recycling flat lining because incineration has increased.

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Smoke, gas and mirrors

Rishi Sunak is cutting £400 off average energy bills which have risen by £1,500. It will help, but it’s not enough. The real solution would be to double the investment in renewables which have been putting a brake on energy prices over the last year, but there is nothing in the  government’s announcement that encourages that. In fact, they appear to have focused exclusively on a huge tax break for oil and gas companies that invest in UK fossil fuels – we will be asking questions on this.

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Double renewables to give consumers a big payback

Green Party peer, Jenny Jones, has welcomed the big payback from renewables that will be helping to reduce energy bills in the autumn and called on the government to double the size of the investment allowed in the next round of renewable energy licenses.

The contract for difference scheme previously acted as a subsidy for renewable energy by offering investors a guaranteed price, but with rising gas prices forcing up energy bills, that guaranteed price is now well below what consumers are paying. A report by the right of centre think tank, Onward, worked out that renewables already save consumers £221 a year because they had displaced gas consumption.

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Clean Air comes top

My Clean Air Act is top of the Lords’ ballot for private members bills which means that it stands a good chance of getting through all three stages in the Lords, before moving into the Commons. The bill aims to protect the public against air pollution which is one of the biggest public health hazards of our time and responsible for tens of thousands of premature deaths in the UK. I’ve been working on this issue for over twenty years, but this is my best chance to get the government to take decisive action.

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A draconian government tries again

The Lords deleted nearly 18 pages of the most draconian restrictions on the right to peaceful protest from the Policing Bill, but the government are now trying to bring them back. This must be opposed.

The government want to stop any protest that might get noticed and be effective. They have already got the right to ban noisy protests, now they want to clamp down on all the other forms of peaceful, non violent protest that people use to get attention. And that’s the crucial point – protestors are just people. People who work, pay taxes, study, or collect the pensions they have earned. People who see something wrong and want it to stop. People like you and me.

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Why are we paying £2m a day for Drax to pollute the planet?

Drax uses wood from forests in Louisiana, North Carolina, British Columbia, Estonia
and Latvia. These forests will take centuries to recover, centuries which we simply
do not have when tackling the climate emergency. The government claim that Drax is sustainable simply ignores all the extra emissions from felling, making the pellets and transporting it all. It ignores the extra carbon that is oaked up by more mature trees.

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The Subsidy Control Bill Committee Stage Day One: Net Zero

The Government keep bringing us these thin Bills that ought to include things such as the ecological crisis and climate change, but do not. The subsidy principle should ensure that all our environmental and climate targets are met. Ecologically damaging, polluting industries should be weaned off public money completely and, ultimately, binned. My Amendment 8 would ensure that subsidies contribute towards limiting global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees centigrade of warming. My Amendment 33 would prohibit subsidies for fossil fuels and extend the definition of fossil fuel subsidies to include any government policy that makes fossil fuels cheaper than their true cost. Continue reading “The Subsidy Control Bill Committee Stage Day One: Net Zero”