Thursday, March 23, 2006

A start but not enough

The budget had some interesting ideas but did not go far enough on environmental issues as far as I am concerned.

£20m on promoting and incentivising the greater use of low-energy light bulbs, better insulation and improved central heating and an extra 250,000 subsidised home insulation packages over the next two years. Ok I guess but more could be done in this area surely. And the sooner these issues are tackled the greater the benefits which will be reaped.

£50m was added to the government's Low Carbon Buildings programme to help fund a small number of micro-generation projects such as solar heating, heat capture and small wind turbines. Again ok as far as it goes but at some point the UK government is going to have to think much bigger. How about setting a deadline (3 years say) after which all new properties will have have Solar Energy built in at the time of construction?

Tags Politics Environment


Joe Otten said...

Think bigger - I agree. Not so sure about compulsory solar, suppliers may use that as an invitation to inflate costs. And solar (PV) is still one of the less economic renewables. Micro wind is a better choice for most. Solar hot water of course is better than PV.

I can see that incentives were needed when low energy light bulbs cost £10. Now they cost, what, £1 or £1.50? Incentives exist to change rational decisions, but we are way beyond the point were incandescent light bulbs could have been a rational decision. Please, somebody find out who is still using them and why. My guess would be "habit". Perhaps bulbs should be rated A-G like appliances.

But we have been making these kind of noises, and running little subsidy schemes for a long time now. We seem to be stuck in a rut.

Tony Ferguson said...

I would hope that the security of a continuing and large demand for solar would make the production of units much cheaper and more economical. The same would apply to Micro wind etc. I am no expert in the technology but I just feel we need to take big steps and stop mucking about

Nicola said...

I have to get planning permission for both solar panels and any form of wind turbine ...... I might get the solar panels, but there seems to be a moratarium on all wind options - especially as they would intrude on the "natrual beauty" of the area.
I think the wind turbine would be the most effective , we have more wind than sun !

Tristan said...

It was a bit of a wet sop...

We should be building new houses to take advantage of things like grey water recycling and micro-generation.

Especially as some of these solutions aren't more expensive, or the expense will be offset by energy savings.

Tony Ferguson said...

Agreed and these things should all become much more economic to fit if they are done at the time of construction and are done for every house. The production runs of such items will be larger and therefore the cost per item should fall. This in turn should make the purchase costs cheaper for those who wish to retrofit to houses which were not built in this way