Am I the only one left perplexed by the “conflicting” news regarding mixed messages coming from the Government?
Boris Johnson, the UK’s Prime Minister, delighted many of us with the news that we will “build back green”, and we will build back using UK suppliers, following the Corona Virus economic shut-down.
The Government has promised to invest £160m in the wind turbine industry, whilst, almost simultaneously, agreeing to open the UK’s first deep coal mine, the first to be commissioned in decades, Woodhouse Colliery in Whitehaven Cumbria.
Surely these two decisions are at the complete opposite ends of the sustainability spectrum.
The new coal mine will bring new jobs, 500 of them, but this is dwarfed by the 60,000 expected to be created by the renewable wind turbine initiatives.
The new coal mine will directly and indirectly impact the local community and economy, but again this will be dwarfed by the 120,000 indirect jobs created on the back of the renewable energy proposals.
If there is any good news regarding the new mine, it is that this coal isn’t being mined as part of the UK’s energy plans. Energy supply is on a pathway to change to being 100% renewable, and the speed at which this change is coming is accelerating. But the coal, converted to coke to be used in the steel industry, will ultimately release carbon that was locked away under the sea-bed for millions of years.
With new technologies available to move away from using coke to make steel, would the money now not be better spent investing in these technologies, not on old, un-environmentally friendly, archaic, fossil fuel burning, carbon emitting, climate changing ones?
Mixed messages? I, for one, remain confused.