Hot on the heels of Germany’s ambitious renewable energy plans, the Danish government went even further and announced last week that they plan to get half of their country’s total electricity requirement from renewable sources by 2020 and 100% of total energy, including electricity, heating, industry and transport, by 2050.
Their ambitious plans will see a massive shift away from expensive and highly polluting fossil fuels to offshore wind and increased energy efficiency – the plans include reducing overall need for energy by 12% in 2020.
In their announcement, the Danish government acknowledged that gas prices are set to soar in the coming years and that a shift to renewables would mean they are no longer tied to the volatile price of fossil fuels. The UK’s energy regulator OFGEM has also highlighted gas as the primary cause of the massive energy price hikes consumers have suffered here in the UK.
This announcement from Denmark comes just after Chancellor George Osborne announced in his budget speech that gas would “be the largest single source of our electricity in the coming years” - effectively pledging that the future of the UK’s energy supply will be even more reliant upon expensive, imported and highly polluting gas.
Under Osborne’s plans, millions of households in Britain would be forced to ride the gas price rollercoaster, therefore facing decades of unstable bills and very likely further price hikes. And the Committee on Climate Change – the government’s independent advisers on how to stay within our national carbon budgets – warned yesterday this new ‘dash for gas’ could also risk us missing our climate targets.
Ed Davey needs to stand up to gas company lobbyists so that our bills come down – and pollution levels do too.