“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.” Elvis Presley
Is there finally a glimmer of light amid the economic fog of stupidity relating to renewable energy sources? This week, the Department of Energy and Climate Change has announced it intends to cut the subsidies for domestic solar power. Energy Minister Greg Barker proposes to halve the funding for small-scale rooftop installations, saving an estimated 700 million pounds annually by 2014-15. “The FiT [Feed in Tariff] Scheme has to live within the budget,” said Mr Barker. “You don’t have to be a Nobel prize-winning economist to realise that solar is burning through the budget at an unsustainable rate.” The decision threatens to prick the investment bubble in solar technology created by Ed Miliband when he was energy secretary.
Relying on renewable technologies that are underpinned by public subsidy is foolish at any time but especially during a time of austerity, a point picked up recently by the Chancellor, George Osborne, who warned the recent Conservative party conference: “We’re not going to save the planet by putting our country out of business.”
A chill wind is starting to whistle through the turbine blades, blowing away the myths surrounding renewable energy sources. We can escape it by embracing relatively safe, clean, viable alternatives such as thorium nuclear power.