Douglas Carswell

08 FEB 2016

Yes to green technology, no to subsidy

Wrightbus is currently testing new hybrid buses that use power recovered from their brakes. Where did this clean, green tech come from? Think it was funded by State subsidies? Guess again. It's from a completely commercial industry: Formula 1 racing.

F1 green tech is transforming transport – and not just on the roads. Williams F1, which designed the original flywheel system being copied on the buses, is working on similar technology for trains. It is even inspiring hybrid technology EasyJet is developing for planes.

Did I mention all this is being pioneered in Britain?

The green tech trickledown is exclusively the result of market demand. F1's cutting-edge engineering innovations are commercially viable thanks to millions of racing fans worldwide – the kind of people Big Green lobbies against.

According to Establishment orthodoxy, this shouldn't happen: green technology is only supposed to come about through redistribution by the State, subsidising eco-friendly manufacturers at the expense of consumers.

But the subsidy model doesn't work. It means manufacturers never have to make competitive products because they can always rely on handouts from the taxpayer. Subsidies are nothing more than corporate welfare.

Subsidies may even hold back viable clean tech. To quote flywheel developers Torotrak: "The conventional wisdom, boosted by government subsidies, suggests electrification is the only way to curb fuel use in cars, but flywheel technology could be a cheaper and more environmentally-friendly way."

Last week, UKIP in Parliament published a new paper, co-authored by UKIP's Energy Spokesman Roger Helmer MEP. We make the case that to see a real renewable revolution in energy, we need to scrap redistribution and set the market free.

If we genuinely want green tech to take off, we need to say yes to new technology, no to subsidy.

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