Dylan Thomas spells it out, we will not go gently into this dark night.

8th Apr 2019

 

It feels a bit under siege at the moment, partly due to entirely valid debate about how to decarbonise the UK and partly due to those seeking only to make a quick buck.

Add to this a media that seeks to sensationalise, a general lack of knowledge around the energy industry and you have a recipe for uncertainty that can do untold damage to our industry now and in the future.

So when we read scare stories about gas boilers being banned from 2025 in new build homes or by 2050 elsewhere, we have a duty, indeed a public service to correct this. What the Chancellor said was the end of fossil fuel heating systems, at the same time as he announced investment in low carbon green gas. So the end of the gas boiler is not upon us, but the change of gas is. We know this. Clearly, the media don’t. This is where the vultures prey. They will use these headlines to sell their alternative technologies (in some cases of snake oil) and usually these involve an all-electric scenario (which of course isn’t fully decarbonising at all).

So our job is tricky – we rightly need to go with the flow of decarbonisation but strongly rebutting the lazy arguments about gas. And these threats will arise day-in, day-out. Through the back-door, in terms of “innocent” technical or regulatory changes or more blatant attacks against gas.

Over the coming weeks I want to speak to those also willing to speak up on behalf of our industry. We need to be vigilant and yes, that means putting our heads above the parapet from time to time (well, OK, for me a bit more frequently than that). We have a good story to tell. We are responsible, acting in advance of Government to enable heat and transport to be decarbonised in an affordable and secure manner. We advocated green gas years before the Chancellor, so we do have much to offer. As Dylan Thomas once wrote (apologies to my friends at WWU if the context isn’t entirely accurate, the sentiment is) “we will not go gently into that good night”, but we will “rage, rage against the threat to our industry.”

Best wishes

Mike Foster, CEO