in and would thus be happy to pay the higher rent; Larry would demand
an increased deposit in case of breakage of the expensive new windows;
and Tina would respond rationally and banish Wayne. However, I don’t
think that Larry and Tina can ever deliver a perfect market. Tina is poor,
so has difficulty paying large deposits. Larry strongly wishes to rent out
the flat, so Tina mistrusts his assurances about the property’s low energy
bills, suspecting Larry of exaggeration.

So some sort of intervention is required, to get Larry and Tina to do
the right thing – for example, government could legislate a huge tax on
inefficient appliances; ban from sale all fridges that do not meet economy
benchmarks; require all flats to meet high standards of insulation; or in-
troduce a system of mandatory independent flat assessment, so that Tina
could read about the flat’s energy profile before renting.

Investment in research and development

We deplore the minimal amounts that the Government have committed to renewable-energy-related research and development (£12.2 million in 2002-03). ... If resources other than wind are to be exploited in the United Kingdom this has to change. We could not avoid the conclusion that the Government are not taking energy problems sufficiently seriously.

House of Lords Science and Technology Committee

The absence of scientific understanding often leads to superficial decision- making. The 2003 energy white paper was a good example of that. I would not like publicly to call it amateurish but it did not tackle the problem in a realistic way.

Sir David King, former Chief Scientist

Serving on the government’s Renewables Advisory Board ... felt like watching several dozen episodes of Yes Minister in slow motion. I do not think this government has ever been serious about renewables.

Jeremy Leggett, founder of Solarcentury
I think the numbers speak for themselves. Just look at figure 28.5 (p218)
and compare the billions spent on office refurbishments and military toys
with the hundred-fold smaller commitment to renewable-energy-related
research and development. It takes decades to develop renewable tech-
nologies such as tidal stream power, concentrating solar power, and pho-
tovoltaics. Nuclear fusion takes decades too. All these technologies need
up-front support if they are going to succeed.