Energy Problems Increasing in Britain

A study by uSwitch, the price comparison website, has found that the cost of household energy has risen seven times faster than household income since 2004. The average household's annual energy bill is 1,252 and this is 11pc of a couple's basic state pension of 11,175.

The cost of energy is now the top household worry for 90% of Britons. Much of the increase is nothing to do with world energy prices; it is largely caused by investments in technologies, principally wind power, which cannot supply the energy we need at a realistic price.

Households were spending an average of 522 a year for their energy in 2004. Now it's double, which shows the extent of the disaster which is Britain's energy policy.

DECC seems to be more interested in meeting climate change targets than keeping the lights on.

It is likely that further investments in renewable energy will be put on hold while European governments develop clear policies on shale gas.

Chris Moore of MGT Power, a UK-based biomass developer has said that until policies on shale gas are clearer, further investment in renewables is unlikely to occur.

Currently, most shale gas operations are in the US, but large deposits have been found in Britain, Europe and Asia. The British government released a report in April tentatively backing shale gas extraction in the UK. It is also planning to spend more on gas-fired electricity.

This will lead to a lot of questions about the affordability of renewables. The answers will be largely decided by the politicians who have engineered the present situation, so there are few grounds for optimism.

ND, habitat21, 19 May 12

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