Green energy cost | Energy chief: moving to green fuel requires the same urgency as the Covid jab.



The UK would be paying "billions" of pounds less for its energy, if it had stuck with plans to reduce fossil fuel use, an energy boss has said.

Greg Jackson, CEO of Octopus Energy, told the BBC that a concerted effort should be made right away.


He said that the transition to green energy should be approached with the same "sense of urgency" as the search for a Covid vaccination required.


The government said that during 2010, renewable energy production had increased by 500%.


Bills would be significantly higher now if renewable energy hadn't been implemented over the previous ten years, according to a Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) official.


According to BEIS, there are already plans to invest more in renewable energy.


The David Cameron-led coalition government implemented several reforms in 2013, including reducing funding for energy efficiency and later ending subsidies for onshore wind.

Energy costs this year would be billions of pounds lower if we hadn't done that, Mr. Jackson said on BBC Radio 5 Live's Big Green Money Show.

"Our short-term actions have made us far more vulnerable than we should be."


Three million UK clients are served by Octopus Energy, which produces electricity from sustainable resources like wind and solar.


According to a report released earlier this year by the energy analysis website Carbon Brief, the UK's bills are approximately £2.5 billion higher than they would have been if climate initiatives had not been abandoned over the previous ten years.


Going green will not only help stop the catastrophic climate change that is already disrupting weather patterns but it will also lower energy bills, according to Mr. Jackson.

Mr. Jackson stated that he thought that renewable energy production could be greatly accelerated.


This is because while the engineering of a new wind turbine could be completed in a year, the planning, approval, and connection to the grid required many years.


"In the pandemic, we completed the typically fifteen-year procedure for developing and obtaining a vaccination license in one year.


If we took similar urgent action, he continued, "we could give communities that desire it access to cheap energy rapidly enough to make a difference."

Given that using renewable energy to produce electricity is less expensive than using fossil fuels, several consumers who have joined up with green energy suppliers have questioned why their prices aren't already lower than the average bill.


But because gas is the most expensive kind of generating, it now determines the price of power for the entire market.


The relationship between gas and electricity pricing, according to Mr. Jackson, might be resolved if the UK moved toward a situation where renewable energy sources met the majority of the country's energy needs and gas served as "a gap filler."


According to energy researcher David Cox, it would take some time before additional renewable generation affected consumer pricing.

It's something of a dream, he said. "It will take five to ten years to significantly improve wind power, which is the only source you could deploy quickly.


"That's assuming you can acquire the parts and the steel, and the cost of that is going to go through the ceiling because of the price of gas," the speaker said.


Mr. Cox suggested that funding energy efficiency initiatives, such as house insulation, would be a quicker method to cut back on gas consumption and lower costs.


'Political issue'

An urgent political issue in the Conservative leadership contest is the rising cost of energy.


Liz Truss, the front-runner, has promised to remove the green energy charge, which formerly supported investments in renewable energy. She suggested on Tuesday that she would consider offering additional assistance to individuals and companies facing rising energy expenses.


She has, however, disregarded energy restrictions, in contrast to her competitor Rishi Sunak.


In addition to promising extra money to help with bills, Mr. Sunak has vowed to eliminate the VAT on residential energy for a year.


The amount of renewable energy capacity linked to the grid has increased by 500% since 2010, more than any other government in British history, according to a BEIS spokesperson.

"To build on this progress, the government just secured an extra 11 GW of clean energy in July's renewable auction, and we want to go even further by promoting £100 billion of private sector investment in clean energy this decade," the statement reads.


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