Green Dreams for the New Government

This afternoon, we’ve been watching the Ashden Awards ‘New Government, New Green policies’ twitter Question and Answer session on Twitter (#ashdenpolicychat)

They have been debating these issues on twitter with some of the UK finalists of this year’s Ashden Awards, plus previous Ashden winners and friends. Please do follow the debate and join in by giving us your views. Here are Naturesave’s Managing Director, Matthew Criddle’s answers.

Q1 What would be your top tip for the next government to help the sustainable energy sector grow?

Subsidise the development of marine and tidal renewable systems as the country is surrounded by sea. These projects will be expensive as the R & D costs are significant. The Channel Tunnel was funded in part by the government due to the size of the project. Now it makes money and benefits the country greatly as a fixed link with the continent.

Take the Severn estuary project. A barrier there would produce at least 5% of the electricity demand of the country, but who has the kind of money to develop such an enormous project.

Q2 If you were in power, what’s the first thing you would do to promote sustainable energy?

Create the availability of funding for marine and tidal R & D in addition to retention of FITs and ROCS for generators. Like the Rainhill trials for steam locomotive design in 1825 with the opening of the Liverpool Manchester Railway which the engine Rocket won? Pride in engineering etc.

Q3 What examples of where sustainable energy is working should the next government know about?

Biomass replacing oil in rural areas

Q4 Have you seen policies adopted overseas that you would like to see implemented in the UK?

No – no knowledge, although the Germans and Austrians have tried and tested biomass, so no engineering glitches.

Q5 How could the next government engage the country in a bigger energy debate?

Be clear about the dangers of climate change without being alarmist. Lock in the same level of enthusiasm as successive governments have obtained with recycling.

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