Rising Energy Costs Offer Us a Reason to Grow Green Employment; Western Mail

Article excerpt

* ISING energy costs threaten to send a chill through our economy and endanger the lives of some of Wales' most vulnerable men and women. Centrica's warning that the wholesale price of gas and power for delivery next winter is around 25% higher than in 2010 is deeply ominous.

One in four Welsh households - people in 332,000 homes - now live in fuel poverty and the prospect of this bad situation getting worse is a cause of real concern.

We know that people in communities up and down this recession-battered nation face the choice between "heating and eating" and such a situation is intolerable in a civilised country.

It is now clear that securing clean, affordable energy is one of the primary challenges for today's generation of politicians.

Our planet cannot sustain rising carbon emissions and families cannot cope with higher fuel bills. Inflation has the potential to kill off the fragile recovery and a hike in energy prices would wipe out any disposable income in many households.

Furthermore, the instability in oil and gas-rich regions has demonstrated that a threat to "security of supply" results in higher domestic energy prices. There is the fear that energy prices might double over 10 years and the threat of such a devastating possibility may at long last focus minds on this burning issue.

Are we ready now to have mature debates about the development of renewable resources? …