A word from the wise
9th May 2022
The good thing about local elections is that they can be a good excuse to catch up with politicians and I did exactly that last week. I got a few hours to catch up with my mentor/friend who came to Worcester for the local elections. He’s a senior figure in the House of Lords; served 30+ years as an MP, was a Minister for years and now sits on two influential select committees. What he always is most proud of though, is being an engineer when so few in Parliament are.
I mention this because we got to talking about energy. Bills for his home were front and centre, with his energy supplier initially looking to treble his direct debit. We then got to talk about the bigger energy picture. The challenges around Net Zero; affordability of bills; where our energy comes from and the impact on jobs if we get it wrong. He told me about his recent visit to Shetland to see the sheer scale of onshore wind turbine capacity. Then the engineer in him kicked in.
Problems with capacity to transport the power from source to final destination. Lack of trained people. The risk of importing a solution rather than manufacturing it at home. And because he is such an experienced politician, he also suggested that consumers would reject major change.
He then said we should get on board with hydrogen, we have a first-class gas network in the UK; we are different to other parts of Europe in that sense, we need to recognise this and play to the UK’s strengths, not that of others.
How right he is. Now, this is someone who has been in Parliament for nearly 50 years; he’s nobody’s fool. And if that reflects the wider body of opinion amongst more experienced political figures, then there is a real sense that wise heads will prevail. Once they are given the freedom to think and speak for themselves, it seems politicians get that hydrogen heating is the future.
Mike Foster, CEO
EUA's Chief Executive
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