Connect with us

Economy

Government accused of ignoring criticism as MPs outline HS2 deficiencies

Published

on

The expected economic benefits of HS2 are decreasing as the costs relating to the proposed high speed rail line continue to spiral, according to a group of MPs.

In a new report, the public accounts committee says the Department of Transport is “yet to present a convincing strategic case” for the multi-billion pound project.

It has not yet demonstrated that this is the best way to spend £50 billion on rail investment in these constrained times, and that the improved connectivity will promote growth in the regions rather than sucking even more activity into London”, said Margaret Hodge MP, the committee’s chair.

The pattern so far has been for costs to spiral – from more than £16 billion to £21 billion plus for phase one – and the estimated benefits to dwindle.

The Department [of Transport] has been making huge spending decisions on the basis of fragile numbers, out-of-data data and assumptions which do not reflect real life, such as assuming business travellers do not work on trains using modern technology.”

The committee’s report follows similar cautionary noises from influential business body the Institute of Directors (IoD) and former chancellor of the exchequer Alistair Darling.

The IoD described HS2 as a “grand folly” while Darling said it has “highly contentious” economic benefits.

The report by the cross-party group of MPs, along with criticism from the IoD and others, has reinforced hostility towards HS2, which has already garnered a vocal group of opponents.

Joe Rukin, campaign manager for Stop HS2, said, “The problem is that the government just do not want to listen. Now that every argument they have put up for building HS2 has been destroyed, they are ready to invent some new ones.”

Ignoring all the well thought out criticisms of HS2, and serious warnings that taxpayers’ money will be wasted and costs will go up, government is now set to try and rescue this drowning man by inventing loads of economic benefits which are magically going to come from nowhere, just because it is faster on the train to get to London from a handful of cities.

It doesn’t matter that any regeneration will need investment on top of the £50 billion price tag, or that all the international evidence shows HS2 won’t create jobs, but move them around the country, especially to London.”

He added, “Nothing seems to matter to them besides trying to convince people that HS2 is ‘essential’, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary and the savage cuts to public spending everywhere else.

Further reading:

HS2 money ‘better spent elsewhere’, says leading business group

Alistair Darling on HS2: ‘there are better ways to spend £50bn’

HS2 could cost double government estimates, warns free market thinkthank

HS2: an ‘engine for growth’ or a ‘fast train for fat cats’?

‘Still unclear’ if HS2 will be economically beneficial

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

Published

on

By

energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

Continue Reading

Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

Published

on

IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

Trending