On Sept 21st, at the Party’s annual Conference in Birmingham, I shall be introducing (as UKIP’s Spokesman on Industry and Energy) a major Energy Policy Statement on behalf of the Party. I have prepared it with the help of Michael Jose, an Advisor with the UKIP delegation in Brussels, and Francesca Salierno, a Researcher in my Brussels office.
It argues that the theory of man-made climate change is unproven and implausible, and that even if the theory were valid, the costs of the 2008 Climate Change Act and other measures designed to mitigate climate change will greatly exceed any foreseeable benefits. UKIP believes that the UK’s current energy policy, dictated by Brussels, with its heavy reliance on wind, is seriously undermining the UK economy, and is driving jobs, industry and investment off-shore. It is forcing millions of households and pensioners into fuel poverty. And over-dependence on renewables threatens security of supply, and raises the probability of electricity shortages by the end of the decade.
The UKIP statement draws attention to recent studies indicating that emissions savings achieved by wind power, after allowing for the necessary conventional back-up, are somewhere between trivial and zero. It also addresses claims that “the green economy” generates jobs and has the potential to aid economic recovery. We draw attention to a number of studies showing that by driving up energy costs, renewables actually destroy jobs in the real economy. As I like to put it, “We’re not talking green jobs. We’re talking green unemployment”.
UKIP proposes instead a policy based on proven and economic technologies: gas, coal and nuclear. This implies a rejection of EU policy and particularly of the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive, which seeks to ban coal. The policy statement points out that ironically, our approach could in fact achieve the emissions reductions called for by green lobbyists more effectively and more cheaply than a policy based on renewables. UKIP also calls for urgent investigation and exploitation of domestic energy sources including shale gas (which has achieved a 50% reduction in gas prices in the USA).
UKIP’s common-sense policy is based on reliable, secure and affordable energy technologies, in stark contrast to the three old parties, which all endorse a flawed renewables strategy. Our strategy can ensure that households have access to affordable energy, while underwriting the competitiveness of British industry.