Sunday, 16 May 2010
Con-Dems. Where's the fire?
The Con-Dem Coalition Government has a large section on the environment. Leaving aside for a second the fact that the targets they have adopted for reducing carbon emissions are inadequate it is certainly more ambitious than the Labour Govt's programme. As always implementation is the test. It will be interesting to see how the Cons try and get round the financing of nuclear without using public money. No doubt there will be some dodge somewhere that they have in mind. We'll see.
There was specific mention in the Con-Dem agreement for support for a "full establishment for a feed-in tariff for electricity". What this means we will see but if the Tories are true to their word this will mean that solar photovoltaic installations installed prior to the 15/7/10 will qualify for the feed in tariff. There are lots of ways that this could be interpreted to be more or less generous so the devil is as always in the detail.
The Environment section on Energy covers most of the main high level policy areas but oddly there is no mention of the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive due to come into being next April under Labour's timetable. In what has been a fairly lacklustre performance on the renewable energy agenda by Labour this was a real innovation a genuinely ground breaking proposal. It promised a huge growth in the biomass, heat pump and solar thermal industries with users of renewable heat being rewarded with a dedicated tariff.Of course it's omission does not mean they won't pursue this policy but it certainly worth a Parliamentary Question at the very least.
The other Labour Government target (which they had no plan to acheive) was to insulate every loft and cavity wall in domestic properties by 2015. It would be interesting to see if this policy is retained and how it will be implemented. The Kirklees programme is due to finish in about 6 weeks with over 50'000 properties insulated in the last three years. So we have acheived the Government target 5 years ahead of target! So another Parliamentary Question worth asking Mr Chris Huhne.
If only we had a Green Party MP. Ah we do!