Renewable energy transition: Consumers should not be forced to foot the bill so energy companies can make vast profits – Brian Wilson

The explanation for soaring energy costs, more or less, has been the war in Ukraine and its impact on gas supplies to Europe.

Worse is to come as the government reduces the level of its support. However, the traded price of gas last month was lower than before the war began so logically relief should be on the horizon for businesses and households, should it not?

Not so, says Anders Opedal, chief executive of Equinor, the Norwegian state oil and gas company. Bills will stay high because the transition to renewables “will require a lot of investment and these investments need to be paid for”.

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This represents a very significant shifting of goalposts. Until now, we have been told investors will queue to put their money into a green transition, enticed by government subsidy and fat profits.

Anders Opedal, president of Norwegian state-owned energy company Equinor, has warned bills are likely to stay high (Picture: Karim Jaafar/AFP via Getty Images)

Now, from what Mr Opedal says, consumers will fund that transition through energy bills at a similar level to those created by the war in Ukraine! Surely this cannot become the new accepted wisdom?

Before the war started, the same imperative existed to make the transition to renewables – with no mention of it being funded by the doubling or trebling of people’s energy bills.

There already needs to be close scrutiny of why bills are not falling as quickly as they rose – or indeed at all. Mr Opedal’s assumption that consumers will then fund a transition which will make vast profits for the energy companies is in equal need of challenge.

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