A report by the Lean Economy Connection in association with the 20 MP strong All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil (APPGOPO) has warned that rationing will be needed to deal with energy shortages as well as helping us achieve our green targets.

The report, 'TEQs (Tradable Energy Quotas): A Policy Framework for Peak Oil and Climate Change' cites the International Agency's 2008 World Energy Outlook statement that ‘current global trends in energy supply and consumption are patently unsustainable – environmentally, economically and socially’.

It also refers to the Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security's report 'The Oil Crunch', which concluded that global oil production will be unlikely to grow after 2013. With Ofgems warnings in 2010 of shortages and breaks in supply.

The report's favoured instrument for dealing with the imminent shortages as well as combating carbon emissions is the use of Tradable Energy Quotas (TEQ). And the time-scale of before 2020 seems to be the call.

TEQs are put forward as the solution in that they ' … would reduce our reliance on fossil fuels fast, guarantee that we meet our agreed emissions obligations and empower communities to address the challenges of our times, allowing us to move into a happier, thriving future'.

A form of TEQs are used already in the EU with the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which covers about 12,000 large facilities. But this latest report wants to extend this principle across the country for use by individuals and organisations alike. When you buy fuel you surrender some of your quota, your ration. That includes all types of fuel from domestic to transport.

The 'people' would get about 40% of the quotas by entitlement, with the total emissions allowed each year being set by the Committee on Climate Change. The outline procedure is shown here.

TEQ fig 2

TEQ fig 2

John Hemming MP, chairman of the APPGOPO, said: “What is needed is an intelligent response both to climate change and to fuel depletion. We therefore welcome the model set out in the Lean Economy Connection’s report, which addresses both sides of the problem. It is the first coherent proposal to attempt to do this, and it merits close attention.”

This complex and unworkable set-up has the throw away line that 'The number of occasions on which individuals actually purchase energy is quite limited – perhaps eight times a year for utilities, although it could rise to some thirty times a year for individuals with cars – and most TEQs transactions are done by card and direct debit.'

As the quotas are tradable they can be sold on and profit made. So that those that need to travel more have to buy more quotas. Those that work from home can make a tidy profits one supposes. How about allowances for children? Will those in prison and hospital get a quota?

Although the Department of Energy and Climate Change has said there are 'no plans to implement such a scheme' just look at the choice of words. Why not just say we aren't going to ration fuel?

Can you even begin to imagine the fraud, spivvery, mis-allocation, crime, forgery and corruption a scheme such as this would attract?

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