Monthly Archives: July 2014

Where solar power no longer needs a feed-in tariff to be viable

This report from Australia (7 July) is very encouraging, showing the growth of solar power. Electricity from centralised, coal-fired power stations is no longer economically best, and for a long time has not been environmentally best.

The interesting development is how it is impacting on cities, where local rooftop power generation is set to take hold. Also interesting is that the economics do not rely on a feed-in tariff. In fact, some areas are now banning feed-in because of the solar surplus.

Lessons for the UK? Well, perhaps an understanding that solar power has serious economic as well as environmental benefits, even at a latitude this far north.


What recession? London is a construction site!

Today I walked down Oxford Street in London. Where I could. The same on Bond Street. When I emerged from Bank underground station the first image was of seven cranes. Four on one site. Crossrail alone has a massive footprint. Or rather, footprints. Many of them.

Regular readers will have heard me bang on about uneven regional and city development within the UK. And, 137 blogs later (yeah!) it is good to see that “regional powerhouses” is now a cross-party term, whatever cynical suspicions one might have.

But even £30 billion over five years and across England will not tip the scales substantially, I suggest. And many of the infrastructure plans are pencilled in with dates starting 202x. Remember that London will be bidding for regional funds too.

To quote the late Barbara Castle MP and Minister for Transport when speaking at a conference: “Comrades, they promise us jam tomorrow. I say, we want jam today!”

Added link on 8 July: