London, 20 September – The Global Warning Policy Forum (GWPF) is calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take swift and radical action to suspend damaging climate policies and prevent the looming energy crisis from turning into an economic and social disaster.
The GWPF has consistently warned that Britain’s unilateral climate policies under both Labour and Conservative administrations were creating an insecure and expensive energy sector that would ultimately fail due to consumer costs and collapsing security of supply.
These warnings are now fully vindicated. Over-reliance on renewables and interconnectors and a failure to maintain a diverse portfolio of energy supply and electricity generation has resulted in a fragile, weather-dependent British system that is critically vulnerable to pan-European low wind conditions, interconnector failure, and high regional gas prices.
Income support subsidies to renewable energy investors currently total about £10 billion a year, and are still rising, while grid management costs have increased six-fold (to just under £2 billion a year) since the early 2000s when renewables were first introduced in significant quantities.
In spite of this large and growing cost burden, renewables do not protect the consumer effectively against fluctuations in gas prices, since wind and solar are both critically reliant on gas to guarantee security of supply. The UK’s apparent diversity of supply is an illusion.
The current energy cost and supply crisis is the result of decades of ill-considered climate policy which has prioritised costly emissions reductions technologies while neglecting the consumer interest, security of supply and macro-economic impact.
The severity of the current crisis merits emergency measures, not only to protect consumers and the economy, but also to avoid the crisis from turning into social disaster as winter approaches.
The GWPF is calling on the Government to:
1. Suspend all green levies on energy bills, funding subsidies temporarily out of taxation, but acting firmly to cancel these subsidies in the near term.
2. Cancel constraint payments, and compel wind and solar generators to pay for their own balancing costs, thus incentivising them to self-dispatch only when economic.
3. Remove all fiscal and other disincentives to oil and gas exploration, including shale gas, to increase domestic production levels.
4. Suspend carbon taxation on coal and gas generation in order to provide consumer relief and ensure security of supply.
5. Re-open recently closed gas storage facilities and support new storage projects.
6. Suspend all further policy initiatives directed towards the Net Zero target, including the Carbon Budgets, the heat pump targets, and the overly ambitious timetable for the ban on petrol and diesel engines, until the UK energy sector has been stabilised.
7. Facilitate the acceleration of building and deploying Small Modular Reactors for both electricity and heat.
Dr Benny Peiser, GWPF director, said:
Britain’s boasts of low carbon leadership are collapsing in humiliation. Our foolish and badly engineered green policies show the world that we have nothing to offer, except a grim warning. The Prime Minister should cancel COP26 and focus on saving Britain from a deepening energy crisis.”