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And another thing: economic illiteracy characterises UK Government’s energy policy

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Innovation equals growth. Sustainable innovation equals sustainable growth. New industries create jobs. Old industries shed them. New industries solve today’s and tomorrow’s problems. Old industries created them. New industries mean economic growth. Old industries mean economic stagnation. This is the economic literacy that is missing in Whitehall.

The green economy represents a huge economic opportunity for an island gifted with brilliant academics, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs and the power of Europe’s investment capital. We have a staggering amount of weather, shoreline and territorial waters to feed a home grown, renewable, low carbon transformation. Conservative, Labour and Coalition Governments have all understood this opportunity.

But the cracks started to show before the election as ideologically-driven bedfellows of the fossil fuel industry hijacked the Conservative Party, from the Chancellor down. Margaret Thatcher (Prime Minister and a chemistry graduate), driving force behind the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, will be spinning in her grave. It was she, after all who said, “Stable prosperity can be achieved throughout the world provided the environment is nurtured and safeguarded.”


Why is the green economy such an important development?

Disruption is the very essence of functioning capitalism. Large incumbent old industries must be smashed or made more efficient through the creative destruction of insurgent new industries. It is through this vital economic process that we make progress. Biggest is the enemy of the best. Monopolies, oligopolies need to be broken by market forces or the government if the market fails in the task.

The UK has always been a pioneer of creative destruction through the agricultural, industrial and post-industrial information revolutions. Often at huge social and environmental cost. Just as this fourth revolution offers the opportunity to avoid the social and economic harm of the previous three we turn our back on it. Just at the moment the world really needs our visionary academics, scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs, we have backward-looking economically and ecologically illiterate government.

Just before COP21, we have the worst possible political leadership. One that shamelessly backs fossil fuels over the clean alternative, which kowtows to communist dictators, breaks solid pre-election pledges, is hypocritical internationally, misleads parliament, is singled out for criticism by the UN and criticised by older, wiser Conservative statesmen.


Epic facepalm time

News yesterday that the UK is one of the worst offenders in subsiding fossil fuels amongst the G20 is unsurprising, while cutting support for infant industries such as solar and onshore wind. Prime Minister David Cameron’s pre-election pledge on climate change doesn’t look like being fulfilled. Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond grand stands on our shared vision of the clean energy revolution in the Middle East. Energy and Climate Secretary Amber Rudd misleads parliament on whether we will hit our renewable targets. We are singled out by the UN because our global renewables leadership is being abandoned just when it matters the most. The Prime Minister’s own climate change adviser and a fellow conservative tells him he’s failing on energy policy. It would be funny if it wasn’t so damaging economically, environmentally, socially and diplomatically . The list of energy policy failures is long and shaming, not least the decision to withdraw tax relief from community energy projects.

In 1988, Margaret Thatcher, at the height of her powers, spelled out her concern for the environment to the Conservative Party with these words: “No generation has a freehold on this Earth. All we have is a life tenancy – with full repairing lease. This government intends to meet the terms of that lease in full.”

We carry no torch for any political party or leader, nor do we have an axe to grind with any political party or leader. But the buck stops today with the party that is in power today and its leadership. There are many Conservative MPs, Lords and supporters who get it. We just want the visionary, courageous and economically literate one that the people of this Sceptered Isle deserve.

Economy

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

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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

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Economy

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

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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.”

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