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Strategic support for energy efficiency and sustainability

Looking on the bright side

04/01/2016 16:21:26

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The Government’s current lack of commitment to a low-energy economy makes it all too easy to become dragged down into despondency and despair: energy efficiency and sustainability seem to have no future in the UK; renewable energy is doomed; housing retrofit, home energy reports and community energy schemes all appear to be lost causes; and so on.  At Cutland Consulting Ltd we are never ones for false optimism, and being analysts we tend to agree that the political landscape does indeed look bleak.
It’s tempting at this point to try to solve the problem by re-inventing past initiatives – son of Green Deal, new tax breaks for community energy, etc – but it’s very hard to invent genuinely fresh versions that haven’t already been seen to fail.  Hence it’s vitally important to maintain our enthusiasm for some kind of bigger picture.  What does our ideal future look like?  What is it that causes individuals to strive for their own particular vision?   Why do so many companies remain committed to sustainability despite the withdrawal of Government support (think Marks and Spencer, Lend Lease, Willmott Dixon…)?

What we do know is that renewable energy really does reduce emissions, that housing retrofit genuinely reduces fuel bills, that home energy reports do provide focused, useful advice, and that community energy is viable and effective.  All of these things have been shown at various times to work in the UK, and all of them continue to work, at scale, in other countries today.  And these things are vital to any long-term view of a sustainable society.

Our own big picture, our ultimate goal, could be founded on health and wellbeing, security of supply, economics or something else - it almost doesn’t matter, as long as we keep on single-mindedly aiming at that goal, even when we can't see the direction that the path is taking.  

January 2016

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