Not only do we have a bad policy, we have a badly implemented bad policy, as the GWPF explains.
Dr John Constable, GWPF’s Energy Editor, contributed a “Thunderer” column to The Times on the 27th of October 2017 commenting on Professor Helm’s recent study for the UK government on the cost of energy (“Energy customers foot the bill for failed climate policy”).
Subsidies to renewable electricity in the UK cost £5 billion a year at present and will rise to more than £8 billion a year by 2020, all drawn from the bills of domestic and business consumers.
One third of this hits households directly through their electricity bills — about 20 per cent of the bill in fact — while the other two thirds, paid in the first instance by businesses, is passed on to households in the general cost of living.
Government has obfuscated these facts, and since 2014 has published no price impacts. When costs could not be hidden, the government has claimed that climate policy made them unavoidable.
Now, in an authoritative and excoriating report commissioned by the government, Dieter Helm, professor of energy policy at Oxford University, has torn away the fig leaves covering the government’s nakedness. Policy interventions, he tells us, are so numerous and badly designed that they have resulted in costs well in excess of what is needed to meet emissions targets. These subsidies will cost a hair-raising £100 billion by 2030.
“Much more decarbonisation could have been achieved for less,” Professor Helm drily observes. Sadly, as the study emphasises, much of this wasteful policy cannot be cancelled, due to “contractual and other legal commitments”. In other words, government has given the rent-seekers firm entitlements that the courts must defend.
Did the civil servants explain these liabilities to the responsible ministers, and if so why was the consumer interest neglected, and why were such bad deals struck, again and again and again? Because, as Professor Helm does not hesitate to tell us: “Government has got into the business of ‘picking winners’. Unfortunately, losers are good at picking governments, and inevitably — as in most such picking-winners strategies — the results end up being vulnerable to lobbying, to the general detriment of household and industrial customers.”
via Tallbloke’s Talkshop
November 1, 2017 at 05:00AM