The CEOs of Europe’s 10 largest energy companies met earlier this year at the Brussels museum of Rene Magritte to lobby the European Union on energy matters.
Magritte was, of course, a surrealist well known for his paintings of umbrellas raining upon us. Given the surreal policy objectives of the group, which wants to slash funding for renewables, the venue might seem appropriate.
Yet hardly a day goes by without an attack on renewable energy in the British media.
With electricity and gas bills climbing, the energy sector is keen to blame “green taxes” for rising energy bills, while suggesting that environmental energy will lead to the lights going out.
In Con-Dem Britain, where wages are often falling compared to inflation, most of us are having trouble paying the bills. Ed Miliband’s demand that energy bills be cut has, for once, wrong-footed his opponents, both Blairites in Labour and our present neoliberal government.
The energy companies deny that they are fat cats and some blame their 10 per cent energy bill increases on environmental costs.
Ukip and a variety of reactionaries claim that wind turbines are the most dangerous form of energy and that there must be a war against environmental charges.
The Conservative Environment Minister Owen Paterson – famous for claiming the badgers have moved the goal posts – is a climate sceptic who wants to smash environmental protection. He has argued that climate change may bring benefits and is said to have a phobia of wind turbines.
So there are some powerful forces arrayed against renewable energy, but is the claim that it is pushing up bills correct?
Article by Derek Wall from the morning Star