1. The urgent challenge facing the UK is to devise a flexible forward looking strategy for energy delivery and consumption that is sustainable for the indefinite future. Our need is to use available resources to achieve a maximum reduction in GHG emissions per £ invested (in terms of £ per tonne of CO2-equiv. GHG saved) and to prepare for a future when oil and natural gas are progressively becoming scarcer and prone to political interference. This requires a combination of innovation and deep understanding of how to make what looks attractive in theory also possible in practice, also experience of technological progress abroad.
2. We believe the issues of Climate Change, energy security, Peak Oil are so pressing and urgent that radical measures are necessary and that present government policies are woefully inadequate. In particular we are extremely concerned that there is a real chance of power shortages in the UK from around 2015 unless rapid investment in the appropriate technology is carried out urgently. This is primarily due to an foolish reliance on imported gas which may be in short supply, and the closure of obsolete coal fired power stations.
We need to examine critically the current and future mechanisms by which we produce, convert, distribute and consume all energy carriers, including heat, electricity and fuels.
3. As Stern and others have pointed out, we need to begin to act now; even though the future will bring new and, we hope, better technologies we cannot afford to wait until they arrive as we have no time to wait; we already have proven technologies that if we began to apply now would bring no “regret” whatever the future holds and if better ones do not fulfill there promise, we can carry on with the ones to hand now. Energy efficiency is a prime example. It more than competes with fossil fuels at today’s – even yesterday’s – prices. Wind power is another proven supply technology which could, (but we are not suggesting it should), provide all our energy needs.