A FEW weeks ago I wrote in TCW about the menace of the lucrative solar farms. A plan to create one of the largest solar farms in the country close to the Silchester Roman site in Hampshire had been approved. That site is the latest in a flood of projects up and down the country in which land is signed over to renewable energy companies to cover it with solar panels, many made in China by firms linked with forced labour. In just the last few days, similar proposals have made the news in Telford, Wokingham and Barnsley.
However this is just the beginning. If Labour win the general election, these schemes will be dwarfed by what comes next. There is even more enthusiasm for the pursuit of renewable energy infrastructure at all costs on the opposition benches than there is in government. There is a danger that the solar farm push will become much more centralised and well-coordinated if Sir Keir Starmer becomes prime minister next year. One of Starmer’s ‘five missions’ for a Labour government is to ‘make Britain a clean energy superpower’.
‘Look, I want to see more solar farms across the countryside,’ he told the National Farmers’ Union. A Labour government will be unapologetic about ramping up efforts to ship solar panels to Britain for depositing in fields.
More generally, Labour’s energy policy is disappointing, to put it kindly. Their one-stop-shop answer to the problem of crippling energy bills? Nationalisation. Ed Miliband, ‘shadow secretary of state for climate change and Net Zero’, boasts to the media every chance he gets about how excited he is to create something called GB Energy, another entry on the ever-growing list of quangos whose regulatory power far outweighs the issues they were supposed to solve, or their competence to solve them.
Miliband’s position on the Labour front bench is worrying. He appears to have bought into the idea that ‘Net Zero at all costs’ is the only path for Britain’s energy policy. He is an enthusiast for a concerted, well-funded campaign of government subsidies for green energy (funded by yet more tax rises) and penalties for those who dare to burn fossil fuels (which will mean our energy bills go up). Either way, our wallets will feel the pinch of a Labour government’s obsession with green virtue-signalling.
Judging by the job title Starmer has given him, Miliband looks likely to become head of a new government department with the express purpose of pursuing Net Zero at the expense of energy security. While families struggle to put food on the table thanks to soaring inflation and rocketing energy bills, Miliband is preparing for the powerful ministerial role he may well take up next year by wandering through the British countryside (the same one he wants to coat with solar panels) singing Bob Dylan while playing the ukulele. You can see him here.
Combining the various elements of Labour’s energy policy – GB Energy, more solar farms, Miliband’s big-state instincts and plenty more – it’s clear how much damage they will be able to do in a short time. The menace of the lucrative solar farms is just beginning.