‘Every moment, enough solar energy hits the Earth to meet the world’s energy needs 10,000 times over’

The Conservative Party’s Political broadcast, put out on the 30th of March 2015, opens with a male actor reciting the following statement:

‘What do I want for my children? I want them to be happy and secure, but I also want them not to have any worries and not to have anything holding them back’.

After this, a female actor says:

‘I don’t want him (her fictional son) to have to worry about having to pay his bills each month’.

And one more female actor follows up with:

‘I want him to be happy and healthy’.

David Cameron then wraps up this advert (probably paid for by the same money that put coke in Lord Sewel’s sinuses) with a jolly old, ‘So that’s what our plan for Britain is all about, securing a better future for your family and for all our children and grandchildren’.

Well, David and Co., why then has it just been announced that the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) ‘is proposing to cut the feed-in tariff rates for solar PV installations by as much as 87%’? Are you clinically insane? Do you want the kids you paid to be in your advert to be burnt in a resource-based conflict? It is safe to say the only individual with an environmental policy worse than our Conservative Party’s is Saruman the White.

Alasdair Cameron (who as far as I’m aware is not related to David), an energy campaigner from Friends of the Earth reacted to the announcement of cuts in renewable energy subsidies by saying that:

‘From California to China, the world is reaping the benefits of a solar revolution, yet incredibly in the UK David Cameron is actually trying to shut rooftop solar down. These absurd solar cuts will send UK energy policy massively in the wrong direction and prevent almost a million homes, schools and hospitals from plugging into clean, renewable energy. Of course the feed-in tariff should fall as solar becomes cheaper, but the government clearly plans to remove support entirely. This is politically-motivated, and will take away power from people and hand it back to big energy firms’.

Without the sun, life as we know it would not exist. Solar energy has birthed every strand of fauna and flora we will ever experience, as well as those we were too late to see in the past and are too young to meet in the future. The relationship between the Sun and plant-life on Earth, where plants turn carbon dioxide into oxygen, gives us habitable conditions. It dictates the water cycle, our harvests and our seasons.

We hold the technology to build solar roads, an invention that has been put into action in the Netherlands in the form of a solar path. If implanted across the US, solar roads would power the ‘land of the free’ three times over. We have developed clear solar panels (i.e., windows), and Andre Broessel (inventor and founder of Rawlemon) has developed solar balls that track the sun in order to attain maximum efficiency from power cells.

Impact assessments conclude that ‘the government’s proposals would wipe around 6.1GW from the UK’s renewables generation capacity by 2020/2021, with 890,000 fewer households opting to install renewable energy technologies over the next five years’ and, that the ‘lack of PV deployment in the UK would have a substantial impact on carbon emission levels as other energy generation methods are used.

Mid-range estimates for this state that ‘Just under 1 million more tonnes of CO2 will be emitted each year, a figure which will cost the government around £3.44 million each year under European Union rules. This cost increases to around £610 million by 2055/56’. The DECC itself has even said that the changes won’t be saving us much, as the organisation’s ‘own impact assessment states that the average household would still save less than 1% – equivalent to around £6 per year – through the changes. Even large energy-intensive industrial businesses would save just 1.4% on their energy bills’.

Solar panels are comparatively cheap to maintain and upgrade so why, at a time when the climate is acting-up like never before, would the UK Government cut investment in what arguably is THE industry that could save us from environmental catastrophe?

The arguments I hear against solar energy are that ‘It needs to be more effective’ and ‘There’s no money in it’. Is it just me or is it deeply upsetting that the switch from non-renewable to renewable energy is waiting for the profit motive to turn up? There are so many ways for solar panel research and fitting to be funded, we can stop cutting corporation tax (maybe even raise it like that Neo-Nazi-gay-terrorist-alien Jeremy Corbyn has suggested), cut the defence budget, cut Trident, raise income tax on multi-millionaires, cut subsidies to big businesses, particularly those in the weapons manufacturing industries, and/or scrap the House of Lords (worth £21million a year).

The development of tools used to harness solar energy should not be in private hands, it should be in the hands of the state that can then co-operate with grassroots innovators and make it compulsory for businesses to join. It should then not go the same way as the train networks, as we would literally be privatising light.

People say solar farms are an ‘eye-sore’ and this is something I have never understood. When I see solar farms I see sustainable progress, I see the realisation for change. This cannot be compared to seeing a nuclear or oil plant, all this represents is a poor relationship with our environment, a lack of understanding and that too much respect is given to the few who remain in charge of these dated, money-pumping industries. Solar panels are how we can move forward, having the power to both end most (if not all) resource-based conflict and fuel the fight against poverty and disease until the end of time.

As well as creating jobs, we can retrain workers in the fossil fuel industry so that they are equipped with the needs of the times. Thatcher shifted the economy from industry to London-based financial services, so we can shift industry again from financial services to green industry. The only people truly against this idea are those who still get loads of wonga out of it.

When thinking or talking about climate change I can’t help but think of how apt and allegorical George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones is, in that we see people fighting over the Iron Throne (power, honour and money), when the real issue lies north of the wall with the oncoming White Walkers, who would, if they pass, spell the end of civilisation in Westeros.

George Osborne’s cuts are not saving the economy; they are cutting us off from sustainable life. Write to your MP, protest this absurd allocation of resources and demand the UK moves towards a sustainable economy through renewable investment and green industry. Climate change requires an international effort, and the UK is not pulling its weight.

 

Sources:

http://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/decc_proposing_to_cut_solar_feed_in_tariff_rates_by_87_2324

http://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/reaction_absurd_feed_in_tariff_changes_hugely_damaging_to_solar_sector

http://science.opposingviews.com/case-against-solar-energy-19638.html

http://www.pv-tech.org/news/uk_government_proposes_hugely_damaging_solar_support_cuts