With or without Britain’s approval, an energy revolution is taking place. The forces that transformed telecommunications are doing the same to energy. Britain’s difficulty is that, faced with a host of transformative technologies, the government chose to throw its weight behind the past rather than the future: subsidising non-renewable rather than renewable energies; penalising ‘clean’ solutions in favour of ‘dirty’, and propping up a rigged energy market.
Former Labour MP for Nottingham South, Alan Simpson says, in this pamphlet, the issues raised by this Transformation Moment touch as much upon ‘democracy’ as ‘technology’.
Across the planet, towns, cities, villages and communities are emerging as critical players in the democratisation of energy. They are the key to a different energy politics; one which focusses as much on how we save and share, as on what we produce and consume. Transformation Moment is a narrative journey, not a ‘Techies manual’. It will be overtaken by innovations within the emerging clean-technology sector. What it explores is how energy thinking is being turned on its head, where this is happening … and how Britain can join in.
The conflict is not just between the polluting and non-polluting, the national and the local, or between new technologies and old. Ultimately, the most critical issues are rooted more questions of ‘power’ -democratic power – than ‘energy’. Who should own, control and hold to account the energy systems that will define Britain’s future? Transformation Moment is an invitation to shape the answer.