Christopher Booker lamentsÂ theÂ state of the UK energy industry,Â weighedÂ down with subsidised inefficiencies which will hold Britain back as it emerges from the recession:
An obsession with CO2 has left us dangerously short of power as coal-powered stations are forced to close.
As the snow of the coldest March since 1963 continues to fall, we learn that we have barely 48 hoursâ€™ worth of stored gas left to keep us warm, and that the head of our second-largest electricity company, SSE, has warned that our generating capacity has fallen so low that we can expect power cuts to begin at any time. It seems the perfect storm is upon us.
The grotesque mishandling of Britainâ€™s energy policy by the politicians of all parties, as they chase their childish chimeras of CO2-induced global warming and windmills, has been arguably the greatest act of political irresponsibility in our history.Â
He blames subsidies and carbon taxes for causing the problem. And ind is not the solution, it isÂ partÂ of the problem.
So mad is this policy of â€śdouble-up all roundâ€ť that it is driving even the largest and most efficient power station in the country, Drax, capable of supplying seven per cent of all the power we use, to switch from burning coal to wood chips, imported 3,000 miles across the Atlantic from the US. And how has the Government forced Drax to do this? By giving it a subsidy on wood chips that doubles the value of its electricity, while putting an increasingly prohibitive tax on coal.
This is all insane in so many ways that one scarcely knows where to begin, except to point out that, even if our rulers somehow managed to subsidise firms into spending ÂŁ100â€‰billion on all those wind farms they dream of, they will still need enough new gas-fired power stations to provide back-up for all the times when the wind isnâ€™t blowing, at the very time when the carbon tax will soon make it uneconomical for anyone to build them.
Subsidies distort the market and cause idiot business decisions that areÂ ironicallyÂ unsustainable in the future.
So we are doomed to see Britainâ€™s lights going out, all because the feather-headed lunatics in charge of our energy policy still believe that theyâ€™ve got to do something to save the planet from that CO2-induced global warming which this weekend has been covering much of the country up to a foot deep in snow. Meanwhile, the Indians are planning to build 455 new coal-fired power stations which will add more CO2 to the atmosphere of the planet every week than Britain emits in a year.
Thank you, David Cameron, leader of â€śthe greenest government everâ€ť. Thank you, Ed Miliband, father of the Climate Change Act, the most expensive suicide note in history. Between you, you seem determined to switch off our lights, lock the door and throw away the key. We owe you more than we can say.
And yet as the world cools the idiots are still calling it global warming.