Blame our boom years for today's energy price news

Things get "tight and uncomfortable".

“Life could get very tight and uncomfortable around 2015 to 2018”, said Ofgem’s departing chief executive, Alistair Buchanan to the BBC’s Today Programme this morning.

The “tight and uncomfortable” refers to new energy price rises forecast amid power station closures. Coal is, in Buchanan’s words, “coming off the bars now” and nuclear and renewable sources are still in their infancy. So, in another breath of optimism, Buchanan explains: “We’re going to have to go shopping for gas in world markets... which briefly will be tight themselves, so we’ll have a double squeeze”. Again he emphasises, “Prices are going to get quite squeezy as supply and demand converge”.

Words like “uncomfortable” and “squeezy” from an influential figure like Buchanan are worrying. Although nobody yet knows quite how harsh these price rises will be, there is one certainty – this is unwelcome news.

For once, though, these unwelcome bills are not Coalition policy, they are the direct result of our boom years. International emissions agreements signed between 2004 and 2008, right before what Buchanan labels the “financial tsunami”, take most of the blame. While environmental policy, not the economy was headlining political rhetoric and green protests, not occupy movements were plaguing London’s streets, deals were made to cap emissions. These good intentions have now come back to haunt us as coal power stations are forced to close earlier than expected, and our reliance on gas doubles from 30 to 60 per cent.    

Allocating blame to the past eases the pain. Decisions have been made and we must live by the consequences. But the effects are only short-term: once our wind turbines start spinning, wave hubs start floating and nuclear power plants start...humming, we will surely be back in the black.

Photograph: Getty Images

Oliver Williams is an analyst at WealthInsight and writes for VRL Financial News

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YOU’RE FIRED at last! Katie Hopkins is sacked by LBC after “final solution” tweet

She may have avoided a firing on The Apprentice, but she couldn't get out of this one.

Remember when Katie Hopkins wasn't a notorious radical hate preacher and was just that mean lady on The Apprentice who resigned from the show?

Well, let's cast our minds back to that time, in the heady days of 2006, when the nation sighed in frustration as the grand high angry bear Alan Sugar was denied his chance to point at her and growl "You're Fired!"

For we have at last been given what we have been waiting for over a decade.

Katie Hopkins has, finally, been fired.

OK, apparently it was mutual. She and the radio station that employs her for realtime weekly bile spews a live show, LBC, have parted ways:

According to the BBC's media editor, there were "cheers and applause" in the LBC newsroom when the decision was announced.

This follows Hopkins tweeting (and then deleting) that there needed to be a "final solution" following the Manchester terrorist attack. It seems LBC has found its own solution to the backlash against Hopkins.

I'm a mole, innit.

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