Saturday, 10 June 2023
Ross Clark has a CAPX piece reminding us of vacuous schemes waved around by the major political parties. It is easy enough to ignore them, but they have to be flushed away by someone.
Borrowing costs are far from the only problem with Labour’s ‘Green Prosperity Plan’
So, Rachel Reeves has decided that her ‘Green Prosperity Plan’ isn’t such a guaranteed way of enriching the nation, after all.
When the Shadow Chancellor announced it in 2021 the plan was to spend £28bn a year throughout the next Parliament, on solar, wind and nuclear, as well as insulating homes and subsidising industries such as car battery production. Now she has changed her mind. A Labour government will now be spending £28bn a year on such things by the end of the next Parliament, but it will begin with a lower figure.
The whole thing is worth reading as yet another reminder of the dire state of UK politics. The ‘Green Prosperity Plan’ was ludicrous to begin with and should have been knocked on the head before it was even named. Sadly it wasn't knocked on the head and became yet another example of the miserable level of debate we are faced with if we ever wend our weary way to the polling station.
At present, the national grid relies on the first solution: we have gas plants primed to be turn on when power is needed, then turn off again when wind and solar recovers. But Labour wants to close gas stations by 2030 so as fully to decarbonise the grid. It is promising nuclear in their place, but nuclear plants do not work well in tandem with wind and solar because they can’t quickly be turned up and down – they are a reliable baseload, but inflexible.