The discussion became positively gushing when listeners, who do not read EU Referendum and other sensible sources of information, were treated to the ‘revelation’ that by fitting photovoltaic solar panels to their roof at a cost of around £9000 they can benefit from payments worth up to £1000 per year guaranteed for 25 years.
The subtext, as voices became progressively more excited, was clear – Money for nothing! Free money! Fill your boots! Just as it was back in April. As the presenter and his colleague and guests made clear, fitting solar panels to your roof will only save you around £100 per annum from your own domestic energy costs. That is smaller than very small beer and certainly makes no economic sense for the size of the required installation costs. However, it all becomes worthwhile when you understand that if your solar panels feed surplus power into the electricty grid, the tariff you are paid will generate a healthy return on investment. From an outlay of around £9000 you could reap up to £25000 in tariffs over the course of 25 years.
It goes without saying of course that there was no scrutiny or questioning of the source of the money to pay for this. It should be no surprise to hear that it comes from you and me, those people who are energy consumers rather than energy generators feeding power into the grid. We keep being told by the likes of Chris Huhne, and various other parasites who suck at the quango teat, that the era of cheap energy is over. That is because the cost of our electricity is being driven up dramatically by huge taxpayer and consumer funded subsidies for inefficient energy sources, EU targets on the use of expensive and unreliable renewable energy, and by wheezes such as these lucrative feed in tariffs that make money for:
a) the well off who can afford to chuck £9000 or so into fitting photovoltaic panels to earn feed in payments
b) companies cashing in by fitting the panels on roofs for free in return for keeping the feed in tariff generated
This is the kind of insanity that passes for visionary forward thinking in the bubble of remote and insular politicians and their ilk. This is the kind of insanity that increases the number of less well off people driven into fuel poverty, as they fund profits for companies and the well off who can afford to cash in on such financial lunacy. But don’t expect those in the parallel universe inhabited by the BBC to give that a moment’s thought. They just wants us to bask in the faux virtue of paying more to get less in order to ‘save the planet’.