At the recent Labour Party conference, Sir Keir Starmer announced that that the party would create a publicly-owned energy generation company, Great British Energy.
We look forward to further announcements but it looks like Great British Energy will:
- -raise funds from private sources including crowdfunding/bonds for renewable energy projects
- sell the electricity to energy retailers.
More renewable energy such as large-scale wind, solar, wave, tidal energy, is to be welcomed, along with electricity storage and smart grids, is to be welcomed. It is a step forward in making progress towards net zero. Energy generation that is owned by the people is not a new idea – I first came across the idea in 2001 and was a founder member of Community Energy Birmingham in 2011 – but until now it has not become mainstream. This is an opportunity for consumers to own much of our generation and storage of electricity.
Renewable electricity is cheaper than fossil fuel and nuclear electricity. But the retail cost of electricity to householders and businesses won’t go down while retail prices are linked to gas prices. There needs to be market reform for this to happen in a way that benefits all energy consumers. In the meantime innovative ways are available for renewable generators to pass on the cost savings of renewable energy to consumers – as Ripple Energy have done through their partnership with Octopus Energy, where members of the Ripple Energy cooperative (such as me), see a discount on their electricity bill with Octopus Energy. The Labour Party needs to follow through the good idea of Great British Energy with some innovative thinking over the coming months, to get the most out of the model for consumers and the environment.
In addition to renewable energy, we need to make all homes and businesses more energy efficient. If you would like impartial advice on energy saving in your home or business, then please check out my energy advice packages. If you have an idea for an energy saving or renewable energy project, please contact me for a discussion.
If you want to learn from people who have already made their home more energy efficient, then book now for the next Birmingham Green Doors study visit on 15th October.