Much emphasis has been placed on conserving energy in recent years. That’s because building new power plants costs money. If you can avoid incurring capital costs by reducing energy consumption it clearly makes a lot of sense.
However, populations tend to increase over time and new uses for energy are always being found. Energy conservation has clear and definable limits and at some point it becomes necessary to build new power plants.
Some people have tried to make it sound like the public sector has a magic wand that it can wave about to make capital costs vanish from their bottom line. But capital costs have to be accounted for regardless of whether those costs are incurred by the public or the private sector and they have to be reflected in the cost of the energy produced.
I am fully in favour of seeing reasonable steps taken to conserve energy and reduce consumption through greater efficiency. But I am also fully supportive of the private sector taking on some, if not all, of the cost and the financial risk involved in building new power plants.
The only relevant measure should be achieving the best value for taxpayers.