My View

Government, golf and energy

Bob Harris, energy expert, shares his views on renewables.

By Bob Harris MCIOB

15th January 2014
Meeting energy needs,Golf and your community,Generating income
Can solar power make a significant contribution to our energy security?  

I have been a member of the House of Commons/Lords All-Party Parliamentary Environment Group since its formation almost 20 years ago. The group includes MPs, members of the House of Lords, industry and charitable representatives.

Through this group I have been able to present my views on ecological building and renewable energy directly to those in power and often more importantly to those who may take power. It is interesting to see how various groups fight their pitch in parliament, make friends and influence people.

I always try and present my views in a helpful positive way. I do my homework, find those who are interested and impart well researched material that they can rely on. I am keen to make life easier rather than harder for those I interact with.

All-Party Groups are mostly run by backbenchers. Ministers may be involved and many groups include those outside parliament in their membership and administration.


It is difficult to imagine any government who is not interested in renewable energy and energy security.


Politicians all over the world enact legislation that may affect golf at all levels. In Europe national governments are responsible for transposing European Union legislation into national laws. During this process consultations take place.

An All-Party American Football Group exists whose aim is to 'Promote and Increase Official Recognition of American Football within the United Kingdom'. So why not an ''All-Party Parliamentary International Golf Group''?

It is difficult to imagine any government who is not interested in renewable energy and energy security. Opening up national electrical grids to small producers is flavour of the month. This is where golf clubs can benefit by becoming producers of energy giving them both energy and financial security well into the future.


The key is still: Energy efficiency first. Energy production for use on site then energy production for export and profit.

In some cases there are national programmes for the introduction of smart meters. These give direct minute by minute feedback of energy usage on site. Their use will lead to further energy economies for clubs based on reliable information.

Houses of Parliament
We all want renewable energy but ‘not in my back yard’?

All golf clubs I have visited can reduce energy use and produce renewable energy on site at some level. 

However the issue remains whether or not members of clubs and national golf organisations have the human energy enthusiasm and desire to implement already proven technology to support change? How do you turn those with the attitude of 'not in my back yard' into positive supporters of the emerging energy market?

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not, necessarily, those of The R&A.