[PODCAST] The economics of renewables

Most agree that green energy has a huge role to play in the future – indeed, even now. But the debate around renewables and their ability to help tackle climate change rages on. In the US, President Trump faced mass backlash when he pulled out of the Paris climate agreement – yet recent figures suggest that reductions in carbon emission in the US have been greater than in any other developed country.

Here in the UK, the government has brought in a plethora of regulation to tackle the issue of climate change – but often these regulations are responsible for causing more bureaucratic problems than they are for solving environmental problems. Of course, customers bear the brunt of bad policy – electricity charges for households in England and Wales to have risen by 50 per cent in real terms since 2001, when the market moved from being relatively liberal to being significantly more restrictive.

Is it time for a rethink of the developed world’s approach to renewables? What is the best way to tackle climate change in 2019? Do we need a rollback of regulation, or should we be considering something like a carbon tax?

Joining the IEA’s Digital Manager Darren Grimes, to help give some perspective, is our guest of the day Matt Ridley. Matt is best known for his writings on science, the environment, and economics and has written several fantastically successful science books, he recently gave the IEA’s Hayek Lecture on the crucial role of innovation in modern society, which you can watch here.

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