So, I have been unusually quiet about the Government announcement on Strike Price. Call it shock, disbelief or confusion if you will but I had a Victor Meldrew moment: “I don’t believe it!” Still I am unsure on the ramifications. I suspect some carbon junkie in the DECC has had this bubbling away on the back burner and as Ministers went into free fall on the announcements by Ofgem and National Grid that the lights will go out, suggestions that industry may be required to turn power off; already a factor for major industries for many years and part of the pricing agreements; and tales of the Miners Strike back in the ’70s, they felt their time had come! So some little munchkin jumps up with a worked up proposal and Cleggy, Cameron and Davies swallow it hook, line and sTinker. I have no doubt that we will see another Baroness Worthington from this any day soon. But am I unfair and is this another Baldrick’s Cunning Plan from the Treasury? I should perhaps warn Osborne the “BCP”‘s seldom succeeded. Well the idea of Strike Price is as novel as ROCs were at their inception. A suggestion that should strike price exceed the ROC + cost element, then the surplus subsidy above strike price would be clawed back leaves one perplexed. Seeing as we, the consumer, actually pays the subsidy, will we get a rebate from our bills or will the Treasury pocket the d$sh? The perceived transfer of the cost of subsidy from the consumer to the government seems contra to all the previous aims. Is this about raising prices to attract Nuclear? Certainly we know the nuclear boys have been holding the Wind(renewable) ROCs over the heads of the negotiators. After all what’s good for the Goose(Wind) is good for the Gander(Nuclear) and Nuclear is the original carbon free option. What it seems to be doing is taking away the possibility of fracked gas reducing energy bills in the way it has done in the US. It is going against the whole ethos of privatisation which is to let market forces dictate prices. If so it is without doubt that is to protect the Renewable Industry and wind in particular. What anyone with half a brain can see is that it will do nothing for UK Industry and Commerce without whom our chances of clawing back from the brink of financial disaster are extremely poor.
It has been suggested that this is part of a grand plan to remove all subsidies by 2020. Fine we may say, but actually industry and those in fuel poverty cannot afford another seven years of such confusion and high costs. The country needs stability and affordable energy costs now! What is a certainty for the cabinet is (a) Davey hasn’t got the foggiest what he is doing which is patently obvious in his interviews, and (b) the Back Benchers feel betrayed by Cameron after the 10% reduction with promises of more to come. To most it would seem that he has spent the afternoon in bed with Cleggy and is now giving them a two fingered salute! If Merkel can behave as she did in regard to emissions from cars that would damage the German Motor Industry it is time that Cameron grew a pair of balls, turned our coal power stations back on and told the wind industry to go and suck eggs! A suggestion would be that the DECC was immediately disbanded, Davey put out to grass and tell Clegg to go and sit on the naughty step until he stops sulking!