In reply to a letter from Mr Baldwin, published on 10th August 2023, I said that while condemning the government for their ‘shameful granting of over 100 new oil and gas licences’ he said nothing to address the huge problem of how we are to generate enough electricity to meet our future needs. Sadly his reply to my letter, published 24th August 2023, does little to confront this problem.

His solution to the problem seems to be to vote in another party, Labour, who he thinks has all the answers. But what is their solution? 99% of clean power by 2030 consisting of 71% wind and solar with the remaining 29% driven by nuclear and other green methods. In proposing what he does, he totally ignores my point that both wind and solar power can never be the main generators of power (what happens on cold winter days when there is no wind to operate the turbines and little sun for solar panels) whilst nuclear stations take 20+ years from planning to coming on line; if a decision was taken today to build a new power station it would be, at the earliest, 2043 before it came on line; well beyond the 2030 deadline.

He also says that the cost of onshore wind electricity is now six times less than that produced by gas. So why are we not seeing this reduction in our bills? Only today, I’ve read that Ofgem has lowered the energy price gap by 7% yet despite this, energy will still cost 85% more than two years ago. One of the reasons is that over 15% of our bills is made up by a green tax, a scheme introduced by Ed Miliband who is a member of the Labour party. It seems to me that Labour is part of the problem rather than the solution.

There are many other points I mentioned in my letter that Mr. Baldwin, again, failed to address and that is why I called for some joined up thinking. This goes beyond party politics because, quite frankly, the dearth of talent in our MPs is the worst I can remember in my 50+ years of following politics and quite frankly I won’t be voting for any of the main three parties. We need a debate on our future energy generation but all we get from both politicians, pressure groups and the media is hysteria; even António Guterres declared at a news briefing that “the era of global warming has ended; the era of global boiling has arrived.” Mr. Guterres is the current General Secretary of the United Nations, whose background is physics and electrical engineering, yet he appears to think he is qualified to make exaggerated statements such as this.

In 2017 and 2018, the UK was 15th in the table of countries that contribute most to CO2 emissions. A lot was made of this by politicians and pressure groups who used the figure as a lever to denigrate us with. The fact is, whilst 18th in the league, our contribution to emissions was a mere 1.1% of the total. If we achieved Net Zero tomorrow, the effect on the world would be negligible given the emissions from countries such as America, China and India, yet despite this many hard-up households face being driven into energy poverty. We desperately need our leaders to wake up and smell the coffee!

Matthew Biddlecombe

Sampford Courtenay