The author of this piece has a great deal of admiration for Sir Keir Starmer. Just five years after suffering a crushing defeat at the polls, he is currently working on bringing his Labour Party back to power, albeit with a significant amount of help from the Conservative party. The needle on his moral compass points directly north, which contributes to his pragmatic and stable demeanour. It is quite improbable that he was aware of how fortunate he would be; yet, he has always ensured that he is in the ideal position to make the most of his good fortune. On Monday, he delivered a speech on the topic of energy in Scotland, and because it is the most costly component of his policy pillars, it is something that should be examined.
It is workmanlike stuff, as is the case with a great number of Starmer’s speeches; no one could claim that the heights of oratory are reached. Nevertheless, it has a brazen air to it at first glance. The future that Starmer envisions is one in which fossil fuels have been eliminated, energy security has been ensured for all time, and the standard of living of each household has increased by 1,400 pounds sterling each and every year. At the same time, Starmer’s government-funded GB Energy will spearhead a £100 billion jobs and technology miracle that will enable the United Kingdom to compete with the Inflation Reduction Act of the United States and the annoying EU.
To begin, Starmer is correct in all of his assertions: we are on the cusp of a generational transition in energy that will see the globe strive to wean itself off of fossil fuels in a manner that is reasonably gradual; the United Kingdom can and should do its role in this endeavour. Nobody in Westminster should understate the threat that the IRA poses to the UK’s interests as an economic competitor because the IRA is a real threat to the UK’s economy. There is little doubt that the government of the United Kingdom will play a part in the transition to a sustainable global energy system, and Starmer is absolutely correct to present his ideas regarding this transition. Both he as a person and his policies give off the impression of being very serious. They are, alas, complete idiots, and I apologise for calling you out on this.
To begin, there is already an effective energy transition policy in place in the UK. It may have been written by a government that Starmer dislikes, but he would have been better off to study it before coming up with his own ideas and realising that we’re not starting from zero here. This would have been a better use of his time. Second, Starmer discusses increasing the amount of solar electricity and quadrupling the amount of offshore wind power. That would put the United Kingdom’s total installed capacity well above 100 gigawatts. Because the maximum demand for power in the UK is approximately 45 GWs, we would wind up with a capacity that is significantly higher than what we could ever use.
We could sell that power into the European grid, but given the EU’s own energy plans, it’s much more likely that electricity will go to waste, which is not much of an investment case. If there’s not much of an investment case, it can only imply one thing: that power will get more costly. We could sell that power into the European grid. However, given the EU’s own energy plans, it’s much more likely that electricity will go to waste.