@AC Idealism v Ralism v reality.
When Thatcher sold off things like the gas and electricity, it wasn't to make a quick buck, it was to get money in to get us out of massive debt. This country was on the brink of bankruptcy, thanks to the actions of the previous government, unions and general idiocy. Now, she didn't sell off everything - she sold half shares in the utility companies. Half remained with the government so they still had control and gained some benefit from the profit the utility companies made, and the other shares were initially offered to the people. I know as my folks bought some and still have them. Okay, most of those government shares have since been sold... by Blair and Brown. They wanted to be popular, to spend freely from a rapidly emptying trough, and hid this by taking money from anywhere they could. Hence the pension pots vanishing and the gold reserve disappearing while they generally pretended we 'prospered' under their care.
In the mean time, they came up with plans on how to further line their pockets, and all this renewable, green energy crap is just that. And I say crap because it isn't of benefit to the people (aka you and me) and it has nothing to do with the environment. No, it benefits those who already have money, who can pay for wind turbines and solar panels and have the space to put enough in to make them worth some certificates... which then generates more income for them.
A normal person living in rented accommodation can't get any benefit from wind or solar: We simply have to keep paying the going rate, and that's going up all the time. Buy a house, however, and you're tied in to a mortgage that saps your funds, and so you can't afford to install turbines or panels. Queue the free installs: Someone else turning up and putting panels on your roof so *they* get the certificates, which is where the real money is, and you get a little bit of 'free' electricity to help reduce your bills. And all that does is offset the price hike in energy prices by a small fraction.
Just thing about it: You're paying a surcharge to the electricity company to pay for the certificate they've bought from the people who put the panels in your roof. Yes: You wind up paying for those panels no matter what you do. Sucks, doesn't it?
And the way out of this? Ditch the certificates. Make the different energy sources compete but regulate them so they have to be 'clean', suitable, reliable and sustainable. Anything else is a waste of time.
And as for the 'Greens'? Well, they're the ones who bought the lie and helped push it forwards. How Blair and Brown and their cronies must have laughed all the way to the bank.
There endeth the cynics view :p