2:06pm Monday 11th March 2013 in Letters
OFGEM’s chief executive Alistair Buchanan has issued a very frank warning about impending steep rises in the price of electricity, caused by Britain’s increasing reliance upon imported natural gas.
These power price rises won’t just be bad news for businesses and families; the UK’s balance of payments will also be heavily burdened – foreign currency is needed to pay for imported fuels.
West Wales is a microcosm of the UK. We already lose lorry loads of cash each week from our local economy because we buy energy from mostly foreign-owned corporations.
The situation is bound to get worse.
Renewable power experts in other European regions are very jealous of west Wales, with its cornucopia of natural energy resources.
They cannot comprehend why we are not already wholeheartedly exploiting them either for the benefit of the planet, or to boost our own prosperity. Compared to our equally well-blessed Celtic neighbours, Ireland and Cornwall, we are falling far behind.
A sound solution requires local planning authorities to start seeing the bigger picture.
They must realise that many individuals who spin out myths about how renewable energy technologies will destroy the locality are just well-educated NIMBYs, who would kick up just as much fuss if it was a bypass, not a wind turbine, proposed nearby.
And yet renewables provide the obvious route for many landowners who have to diversify in these difficult times.
It’s a 21st century fact of life. The price we have to pay for profitable ‘energy farming’ is turbines on the skyline here and there, and photovoltaic arrays in some fields – but the alternative is three poorer counties with far fewer job prospects, and lower energy security in the future.
Independent Energy Consultant