John Webley is a retired Morgan Stanley Managing Director and is currently leading a campaign against wind turbines in rural Kent.
If the Conservatives come to power in the coming months they will inherit the consequences of Labour’s totally discredited energy policy. There has been a complete failure by the Government to ensure that the country has security of supply and it is now finally being recognised that their misguided focus on unachievable renewable energy strategies will result in energy shortfalls in the years to come. Even bullying wind fanatics such as Ed Miliband have finally smelt the coffee and are desperately attempting to plug the gaps with a long overdue expansion of nuclear capacity.
It is a matter of great concern that, within just a few months of the election, the Conservative party does not appear to have an energy policy that will address these fundamental problems and there is no evidence that the maths has been done to ensure that the lights will not go out under the Conservatives as well.
The energy policy paper on the party website, written in 2007, is entitled Power to the people, the decentralised energy revolution. This paper is lamentably short on detail. It consists of many laudable objectives but sets out a view of the world through green-tinted spectacles and there is no overall quantification of how supply will meet demand.
The second paper entitled The Low Carbon Economy again fails to provide a quantified analysis of the anticipated demand and the energy mix required to address it. Without the numbers we have no clear idea of exactly what is being proposed or whether it is credible.
To add to the increasing sense of alarm, Zac Goldsmith, who still allows himself to be described as “one of David Cameron's closest advisers on the environment”, was quoted in the Guardian this week as saying “If the party sticks to its existing policy, it would never allow the building of a new nuclear power station.” For the party to allow exceptionally foolish statements such as this to be made to national newspapers by a “close adviser” is worrying in the extreme.