Two minor problems here


Camilla Cavendish doesn't spot the two minor problems we have with this dash for green energy.

Going low-carbon is no longer a seminar subject for caring greens. It's a real live competition to beat the oil regimes and make profits, in which the new environmentalists will be alpha males.

The first is of course that there are no profits here. If there were profits then that would mean that, entirely unaided by taxation, cap and trade or legislation/regulation, energy sources other than fossil fuels would be cheaper or more convenient than those fossil fuels. Our very problem about the whole issue is that this is not true. There are no profits in green energy systems, there are only losses. We might disguise those losses via regulation and or legislation, cap and trade or taxes, but they are losses all the same, not profits.

The second problem is that Britain risks being "left behind" in some manner. We must therefore, as the US subsidizes massively, subsidize so here as well, for we are in competition. Which is the very opposite of the truth. At present there are only losses, as above. Now it might be that after spending some billions, perhaps even trillions, a better and cheaper energy generation system will be designed. But the correct reaction from ourselves should be that once someone has indeed designed such we go and buy it from them.

There's absolutely no reason at all that we should be gouging ourselves as taxpayers to make such subsidies when the Americans seem so happy to pay for it themselves.