Hello! Here in Smolensk butcher shop we intrigue by latest proposal for green energy in Britain. Volcanoes!
Idea simple. Big undersea wire carry power, create by volcanic activity in Iceland, into UK. For volcanoes got plenty geothermal energy. And geothermals is big thermals. Bigger even than those Eric Pickles wear in winter.
Exciting strategy. And sustainable. Iceland volcanoes already carbon neutral: whenever Eyjafjallajökull and Grímsvötn expel emissions they offset them by ground all European air flights. Now these natural giants, who erupt with greater force than Bjork attacking a paparazzo, will heat, light and energise UK homes.
But wait! Big risks! Sure, pay Northmen for energy look like benign reincarnation of Dangeld. But remember last time this happen? When British seek big profit by invest in Icelandic banks? Banks overheat, explode and become extinct. Suppose this happen with Iceland’s volcanoes and all its geological and hydrogeological phenomena. Suppose its hot springs just bubbles! Then UK energy strategy be same as UK financial strategy: full of dodgy geysers.
And geography. To minimise cost, undersea wire must enter UK at point nearest to Iceland. Scotland. But what if Scots become independent? Alex Salmond control new power. He restrict supply, increase costs, or exact energy tribute by require UK Cabinet to strip naked, paint selves blue, perform sword dance and sing “You Take the High Road”.
Then difficulty. There never been subaquatic construction like Iceland-UK power link. How this be paid for? How long it take?
Coalition not likely commit public investment to scheme. Sustainable energy less important than other capital investments, like Olympics, Trident replacement, or building of world’s first plane-free aircraft carriers (with some of Ken Livingstone tax money). No. Coalition use “signals” to market to secure investment. By give public money to wealthy in income and corporation tax cuts, instead of make direct investment, Coalition tell philanthropists of UK energy business they should finance new energy innovation themselves. Signals and information central to energy strategy. Yesterday, Nick Clegg say he reduce energy bills by provide consumers with annual information on best tariff for them. This much better citizen empowering than silly ideas of direct regulatory curbs on energy company pricing and profits. Elderly for example will exploit tariff information. They demand energy suppliers not recover fossil fuel price rises or green energy investment costs through higher bills. They insist executives instead accept lower margins, lower pay and bonuses. All by lobbying together in slow-moving, toothless, anecdotal, absent-minded, but powerful geriatric platoons.
Coalitions mix of signals ensure Iceland power be online in UK in time for celebration of next millennium.
But is this too long wait? And what about other risks?
Fortunately, there alternative.
UK can build own volcano!
And perhaps Coalition signals help again. And maybe this time it not be plutocrats who invest. Pace of investment by utility bosses slow. Budget tax on charitable donations is big disincentive for rich people who want support Big Society initiative like create manmade geologically unstable thermal vents.
So maybe other social group step forward.
Coalition signal to poor clear. “We’re lifting many of you out of tax, but diluting this by cutting poverty programmes, removing tax credits, and anyway you haven’t got jobs, so what’s a tax cut to you? We’re implementing Universal Credit, comprising the sum of your existing benefits, unless you’re a new claimant or go into work then lose your job, in which case it’s lower, to remove marginal tax rates when you find employment, but actually not by much, and there are no jobs anyway. But at the same time we are cutting benefits as living costs spiral, in effect removing marginal rates altogether as benefits approach zero, so encouraging you to apply for jobs. Which don’t exist. In other words, you’re in the shit. So you might as well do something bold and imaginative.”
Poor could interpret this as mandate for initiative and establish geothermal cooperatives!
Not all poor of course. No. Only those with necessary historic experience of make living in underground environments. Only those stoic indifferent to claustrophobic and respiratory challenges. Only those with wheezily defiant brass bands. Mining communities.
This have great advantage. In past, power was generate by tear up landscape in impoverish regions respectable people never visit. Sustainable energy threaten this. Pity Simon Jenkins, Chairman of National Trust. As he sit on terrace of nineteenth century mock gothic folly, eating overpriced toasted teacake, soothingly patronised by local volunteers, he now have view ruin by unsightly wind turbine. But volcano power put energy back where it belong: among concentrations of poverty far away from places where middle class is recreate.
And ideal place? Proletarian Wales! It not only got necessary scarred landscapes, rugged workforce and ability to sing through any crisis. It also got tradition of name things with very long portmanteau words. So it match tongue-twisting Icelandic volcano names easy. Imagine Welsh pride as BBC’s Huw Edwards, on opening of world’s first manmade energy volcano, pronounce Eyakidahleaksnmaxboyceowynglendowrvesuvohorrorenglishfukusupagainuswhocould singandplaydessicatedcalculatingmachinestheyareboyollantisiliogogogoch perfectly.
Maybe soon, Welsh miners burrow down into ground once more, this time right through earth’s crust. When reach lower mantle, they break through using hardest and densest substance in Principality, Gavin Henson’s head, breach molten outer core and create seismic instability needed for volcanic activity. Not only will Welsh sell energy to rest of UK, but by live amid ash and lava flows, they reduce own heating bills, find home for Idris the Dragon, and, if volcano erupt, become Pompeii-like tourist attraction in couple of thousand years.
Of course, this strategy be threaten by any future move towards Welsh independence. To prevent this, Coalition could send special envoy to Wales. Perhaps figure noted for his commitment to free-market solutions and his love of Welsh people, who come from place that already use Vulcan technologies. This man maybe > http://bit.ly/QKvLe