Hedge funds and banks can see it. They exclude old energy from the capital markets and assess its actions for disposal.
The International Energy Agency and the International Fund can also see it. They no longer see net zero as a cost but rather as a growth accelerator and the answer to energy poverty, by halving global energy costs from 4 to 2% of GDP.
The Treasury is finally neutral, even if we had to tear our teeth to get there. For 15 years, he waged a waste campaign, fighting all attempts by this country to launch a world-class green energy industry. A Luddite faction tried to sabotage Theresa May’s net zero push, mischievously alleging it would cost Â£ 1 trillion.
Rishi Sunak’s net zero review this week acknowledged that green projects have a GDP multiplier of 2.2 to 2.5 (i.e. they amortize more than double) and could increase the UK’s dismal investment and productivity rates. “The radical change in investment required to reach net zero could give the UK economy a boost.” Alleluia.
Yet the British political debate, as in other democracies, remains stuck in time. It is still poorly framed in terms of exorbitant cost. The environmental establishment and its gurus professors formed their point of view when clean change indeed looked like a Himalayan challenge.
Ten years ago, they were right to present the net zero as a company akin to a mobilization for the world war. germany Energiewende was a ruinous warning of what can go wrong, though it has done the world a service by bringing solar power to critical viability.
Five years ago, the picture was not so clear. Today, such hair pessimism is clearly pass but not all of them seem able to shake off a long-standing habit of thinking and take a technological yes for an answer.
Those who keep talking about the costs are unwittingly aligning themselves with vested interests determined to preserve the status quo, and with petro-state powers aimed at damaging the Glasgow Cop26. It’s a status quo that would do immense damage to this country, relegating the UK to technological insignificance as the US and China run away with the price.