The Green Energy Mess That Nobody Will Admit to

by Ben Pile at 

Reports in newspapers this week revealed that Britain’s domestic production of energy has reached a new record low. The news comes from trade group, Offshore Energies U.K. (OEUK), whose analysis, far from unexpected, details the pressures on investment in conventional energy production, such as the windfall tax on oil and gas companies. Since the turn of the century, U.K. production of energy has fallen by two thirds, whereas consumption has fallen by a third. The difference has been met by an increased dependence on imports. Yet neither the report itself, which is at best agnostic about renewables, nor the stories that cover it, seem to have taken seriously the harm that Net Zero and adjacent agendas have done to our industries, businesses and economy – and are set to do worse. 

The U.K. ceased being a net energy exporter in 2004, amid a flurry of green policymaking, culminating in the Climate Change Act 2008, and its increased ‘Net Zero’ target adopted in 2019. Over the duration, coal-fired power stations were demolished, but not replaced with equivalent (i.e. reliable) generating capacity, shale gas exploration was abolished before it had even started. Energy investors in the U.K. and across the continent, lured to attractive guaranteed profits by subsidy regimes, and dissuaded from conventional energy by rising costs of capital, lost interest in oil and gas. Despite promises of ‘green jobs’, a ‘green industrial revolution’ and ‘green economic growth’ and lower prices being the constant chorus of energy ministers of all governments and their so-called ‘opposition’ counterparts, domestic energy prices tripled. So if these new data on Britain’s energy production do not prove the expensive and dangerous folly of more than two decades of U.K. climate policy, what could?