George Monbiot is not everyone's cup of tea, but he's an honest man. This, from the Grauniad, on the occasion of Little Ed Miliband's completely barmy feed-in tariffs for home-generated electricity, to be introduced (you guessed) on April 1st.
"Are we really going to let ourselves be duped into this solar panel rip-off? Plans for the grid feed-in tariff suggest we live in southern California. And at £8.6bn, this is a pricey conceit with little benefit The government is about to shift £8.6bn from the poor to the middle classes. It expects a loss on this scheme of £8.2bn, or 95%"
Normally it's David Miliband who's brandishing the banana, but Little Ed is keen to prove he's bonkers too. The essence of current government energy policy-making is: the dafter the idea, the bigger the subsidy. It's specifically designed that way: Monbiot again -
"The government wants everyone to get the same rate of return. So while the electricity you might generate from large wind turbines and hydro plants will earn you 4.5p per kilowatt hour, mini wind turbines get 34p, and solar panels 41p. In other words, the government acknowledges that micro wind and solar PV in the UK are between seven and nine times less cost-effective than the alternatives"
As we've noted before the Tories are quite taken with feed-in tariffs as well. Apparently there will be a Tory energy policy along shortly. I'm trembling, and it's not with eager anticipation.