Author Archives: Ed Davey

Ed Davey MP writes…£2m for low carbon heat networks

Ed Davey meets Paul Burstow and Sutton Councillors at Heat network funding...Today I visited Lib Dem controlled Sutton to announce £2 million of DECC funding for developing low carbon local heat networks. The money will go to 26 local authorities – including Sutton – to develop their own local projects.

By 2030 around 14% of UK heat demand could be met by these networks and around 43% by 2050. While it is up to each local authority to develop their own projects, the idea is that networks source heat from a central source – for example landfill – and then deliver it through insulated pipes to offices, apartments and social housing.

This will provide low carbon heating, and potentially bring down energy bills too.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 7 Comments

Ed Davey writes… Power to the people

Power to the People! Edward Davey and Greg Barker in BrixtonFor those of you old enough to remember, ‘Power to the People’ was the battle cry of ‘Wolfie Smith’, Robert Lindsay’s character in the BBC sitcom ‘Citizen Smith’. The running joke of the series was that while he had radical and revolutionary ideas, the delivery side was left somewhat lacking.

What I’ve announced today is both radical and sets out how community energy will be delivered. Astonishingly, it’s Britain’s first ever community energy strategy and will empower …

Posted in Op-eds | 23 Comments

Edward Davey MP writes…Lib Dem led British diplomacy paves way for global climate change deal

Liberal Democrats in Government are having a huge impact on tackling climate change, and today you’ve seen concrete evidence of how we’re winning the debate – not just in the UK, but across the EU and potentially beyond.

The main prize is huge – we’re working towards a global climate change deal that will be discussed at the critical 2015 talks.  But how do we get there?

Firstly, I got cross-Government agreement on an ambitious UK position. We have pushed for a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the EU by 2030. We want this increased to 50% if the rest …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Tagged and | 15 Comments

Ed Davey MP writes: Energy Act will create 200,000 green jobs

We will have to get used to calling it an Act, as the Energy Bill that I’ve been driving through Parliament is now law.

Creating the world’s first ever low carbon electricity market is a major achievement for the Liberal Democrats and the Coalition.  And it has been delivered on time.

So, what will the Energy Act deliver?

It will create 200,000 green jobs.

The framework we’ve now put in place will create 250,000 jobs in the energy sector by 2020 – and 200,000 of them in renewables.  The investment that we’re unlocking will produce green jobs up and down the country in offshore …

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Edward Davey MP writes: Liberal Democrats continue to oppose Heathrow expansion

The Davies Commission’s interim report published yesterday has elicited many column inches in the newspapers but little clarity from the other two major parties as to the basis on which they will judge the final report.

In contrast, Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats made our approach to the Davies Commission clear yesterday. We will not endorse an expansion in airport capacity which would increase noise pollution for the hundreds of thousands of residents living beneath the flight path or break the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendations on aviation. Of course we will look at what the final …

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Ed Davey MP writes…Big boost for investment in renewable electricity

It may seem to Lib Dem Voice readers that important energy announcements are a bit like buses. You wait some time for one and then several come along together. So hard on the heels of Monday’s energy bills package today Danny Alexander announced the final strike prices for renewable technologies and also which companies had qualified for the final stage of being awarded early investment contracts. This is good news for investment in the UK’s infrastructure and good news for our move to a low carbon economy.

On the back of these announcements we expect an additional £40 billion of …

Posted in News | Tagged and | 5 Comments

Ed Davey writes… Lower energy bills – with good deal for the fuel poor, green energy and the green deal

Energy-bills-006Energy bills are a hot political topic. Since 2005, energy bills have almost doubled at a time when many people’s incomes have barely risen. The cause of these rises has been almost entirely rising wholesale gas prices on international markets. Yet despite that and even though the cost of government policies only represents 9% on the average bill, it is right the Government has closely scrutinised our policy costs, and found a way to reduce them, to deliver an average saving of £50.

The fact we have done so whilst protecting …

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Ed Davey MP writes… Hinkley Point C – a big step forward for energy decarbonisation

Today I announced that we have reached an outline commercial agreement with EDF to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset.

I know this will cause a wide range of reactions within the party. Most will welcome this very significant step forward in our plans to decarbonise our energy sector. A substantial minority I know will be disappointed. Before outlining the terms of what I believe is a good deal for the British consumer let me repeat what I said at the Glasgow conference as to why I have changed my mind and now believe that nuclear has …

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Ed Davey writes… Keeping down household energy bills

House of Commons at NightYesterday, I outlined why Labour’s energy policies would be bad for consumers, bad for tackling climate change and risk the lights going out.

However misguided Ed Miliband’s energy policies are there is no doubt that he was seeking to respond to the fact that many consumers are feeling the pinch through rising energy bills. The recent price increases by SSE and British Gas will hit consumers hard and I am afraid there will be more to come.

So what is our response?

Posted in News and Op-eds | Tagged and | 14 Comments

Ed Davey MP writes… Labour’s energy policy is a con

Energy-bills-006“There is no such thing as a free lunch” was one of the first things I learnt in economics. But it seems that Ed Miliband thinks there is. He seems to believe that you can have freeze energy prices for 20 months with no adverse impacts. It may have seemed a politically smart thing to do leading into the traditional period of energy price increases. But it is likely to have really harmful consequences. In short, it’s a con.

Many commentators have already pointed out that energy companies will be free to …

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Edward Davey writes: Working in partnership to keep bills down

Energy-bills-006I’m very aware just how many people are worried about bills, not least their energy bills.  These concerns will only increase over the coming months as the nights draw in, the temperature begins to drop and the ‘on switch’ for the heating is flicked.

I’m doing everything I can to help people keep their bills down, from piloting ‘collective switching’ which allows communities to use their buying power to get the best deals from energy suppliers, to legislating to make sure the ‘Big 6’ simplify bills, and switch people who are on ‘dead tariffs’ to the cheapest variable deal they offer.  We are also introducing competitition to the market to ensure we level up the playing field for independent generators and suppliers.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Tagged and | 7 Comments

Ed Davey MP writes… Keeping the lights on with greener energy

Hopefully by the time you’ve read this you’ll be aware of the details I announced this morning to secure the future of energy supply for the UK – if not, and excuse the pun –  let me enlighten you.

As you know already, we have a plan in the form of the Energy Bill that is progressing well through Parliament.  The plan essentially addresses a major issue – we need to attract £110 billion of private sector investment to replace the supply we lose as a result of 20% of our power stations closing by the end of this

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Ed Davey MP writes…Green jobs, cleaner energy, keeping the lights on and bills down

The Energy Bill returns to the House of Commons tomorrow. It’s a crucial Bill that will help deliver all of the above, but clearly one issue – the 2030 decarbonisation target for the power sector – has been the focus of much attention over the last few months. Let’s be clear, such a target wasn’t mentioned in any party’s manifesto or the Coalition Agreement, or in the draft Bill when I became Secretary of State. But because we won the argument in Government, and the Bill now provides for a target, Britain will be the first country in the world …

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Ed Davey writes… Europe must stay ambitious on climate change

There has been a lot of talk over the last few weeks about Britain’s place in Europe, but there’s one thing that I hope we can all agree. We need the EU to help prevent climate change.

We are an island nation, a trading nation, dependent on the global market for prosperity – for food, for energy, for many of the products we rely on in. It is unsurprising that the UK was one of the first countries to recognise that significant climate change will directly affect our way of life. And we were the first country to bind …

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Edward Davey writes… Helping consumers to get cheaper energy bills

Energy-bills-006As we finally emerge from what felt like a never ending winter, many consumers are rightly concerned about the energy bills landing on their doormats.

In Government I’m doing everything I can to ‘cushion’ people from bill increases. Wholesale energy prices make up nearly half of the typical household bill and controlling the recent increases is outside of our control. However, there’s a whole range of measures that we’re introducing to help people to keep their homes warm and their bills down – particularly the Green Deal, with the latest …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 16 Comments

Ed Davey MP writes: Hinkley Point – we need to have all low carbon options in play

Davey Windmills - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsClimate change is one of the greatest threats facing our planet – if we don’t tackle it we will continue to see extinction of species on an industrial scale, parts of our world will become uninhabitable for humans, and we will see increasing conflict between nations over scarce resources and the mass migration of impoverished peoples.  We need to step up to this environmental challenge and use all of our ingenuity and resourcefulness to meet it head-on.

As the Secretary of State I’m determined …

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Ed Davey MP writes… The Green Deal goes live

Today marks a very significant achievement of our party in Government. The Green Deal is being launched.

After two and half years of toil the pledge in our manifesto to, “offer a home energy improvement package … paid for by the savings from lower energy bills” has become reality.

Chris Huhne started the ball rolling way back in 2010 and Nick Clegg and I are visiting a college in Sheffield today to mark the opening of a brand new market in home energy efficiency and meet trainees in home insulation.

Millions of homes do not have full double-glazing. More than half do not …

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Ed Davey writes: How we can tackle rising energy bills

Energy-bills-006As we enter the first cold snap of the year there will inevitably be a focus on the rising cost of energy – particularly after there have been inflation busting increases in gas and electricity tariffs of 6-10% over the past few months.

No country can stop the main cause of this – rising and high world prices for oil and gas. Yet we must do everything we can, to help people and firms struggling with these bills, especially the most vulnerable. And that’s why helping with energy bills has been and will be one of my top priorities.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 12 Comments

Ed Davey writes…The Energy Bill: A vital step for a greener, more secure and affordable energy policy

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 6 Comments

Edward Davey MP writes: The greenest government ever – at an affordable price

The announcement I made today of the levels of support for renewable generation for the period 2013-17 will unlock generation and network capital investment worth £20-25 billion between 2013 and 2017 This is the kind of sustainable long run growth and green jobs we need to get the economy moving again. This is further evidence that pursuing green policies can bring real economic benefits. The CBI recognised this  in their report earlier this month stressing the need for a stable climate for green investment. I just wish that some of the critics of green growth policies would pay heed …

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Draft Energy Bill: keeping the lights on for now, and for decades to come

Over the next decade, around a fifth of existing power plants are due to close, against a background of projected increased energy demand and increasing energy prices. We need new investment simply to keep the lights on and avoid blackouts becoming a feature of daily life. But we also need investment in electricity generation for our climate change goals. We must decarbonise Britain’s electricity generation, to meet our Carbon Budgets as we transition to a low carbon economy.

We need an estimated £110 billion investment in electricity generation and transmission this decade alone. So we need electricity market reforms to incentivise …

Posted in News and Parliament | Tagged , and | 46 Comments

Ed Davey MP writes … There will be no public subsidy for nuclear

Liberal Democrats were at pains in the negotiations for the coalition to insist that if nuclear power stations were to be built in the UK that there should be no public subsidy. This position was reiterated by Chris Huhne in a statement to the House of Commons on October 18th 2010 as reported in his article on Lib Dem Voice. So I would  like to allay Fiona Hall concerns expressed on Lib Dem Voice yesterday by clarifying that there has been absolutely no change in this position.

As Chris Huhne outlined in October 2010 this means that “there will …

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Ed Davey MP writes… Solar power for the many, not the few

Some things in politics are symbolic. For dyed-in-the-wool environmentalists like the Liberal Democrats, solar power is one of these things – indisputably clean, green and cutting edge technology. The sort of thing Liberal Democrats in a government that aims to be the greenest ever should be unequivocally behind.

Our commitment to the environment was why I joined the party in the first place.

So I understand why many of you were confused and disappointed when the Government appeared to scale back the Feed in Tariffs that allow people to install solar panels in their homes and businesses, not least when our decision …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 28 Comments

Ed Davey writes… Glass half full – or half empty?

My announcement last week on pubs hasn’t won me or the Government three cheers from the likes of CAMRA or Fair Pint. Yet I believe it is a notable success for tenants and lessees across the country – and time will prove it so.

For the pubcos have till Christmas to make their Codes of Practice legally binding – so tenants and lessees can enforce their rights – and they know that if they don’t, Parliament would be very happy to make it legally binding for them.

Coupled with the other reforms we negotiated from the pubcos and brewers, real change has …

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Opinion: For the sake of Israel, the attack on Gaza must stop!

A true friend is someone who’s prepared to tell you when you’re wrong or you’ve made a mistake – even when they know that message may not immediately help your friendship. With its current massive attack on Gaza, Israel is clearly wrong. Worse still, it’s in danger of making a historic mistake.

In criticising Israel’s bombing, no-one is making light of the rocket attacks its civilians have endured for months by Hamas – even during the ceasefire. Nor do I question Israel’s right to defend herself. Yet the rationale for the attack put forward by the Israeli Government – that it will change fundamentally the security situation in the south of Israel – repeats one of the classic errors of too many modern military tacticians, in supposing that populations, be they terrorists or civilians, can be defeated this way. The truth is, this attack plays into the hands of Hamas, as it will rally support for it within Gaza and across the Arab and wider Muslim world.

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Tagged , and | 33 Comments

Ed Davey: Georgia shows need for liberal foreign policy, not McCain-Cameron doctrine

Russia’s actions in the Caucuses found the West asleep and ill-prepared. It ought to precipitate an urgent reassessment of foreign and military thinking that was already looking dangerously complacent. Yet the calls by neo-Cons, from Dick Cheney to David Cameron, to respond by fast tracking Georgia’s membership of NATO, and thus to continue the existing strategy, reveal an alarming lack of reality.

For whatever the immediate catalyst for the fighting in South Ossetia, the truth is Putin has played his cards brilliantly. With the armed forces of the US and the rest of NATO seriously over-stretched by a combination of Iraq, Afghanistan and a myriad of peacekeeping missions, he could be supremely confident the West would not respond militarily. A relatively small demonstration of Russian force was sufficient to show the world – and more importantly former Soviet satellites – that Moscow was back. Emboldened by oil and gas wealth, a volley of warning shots have been fired, whether over the security of Russia’s smaller neighbours or of the security of the West’s non-Russian energy pipelines.

A response that criticises Russia for her attacks into Georgia’s sovereign state territory is both necessary and valid. Russian leaders are brutal bullies and the international community must condemn such disproportionate action. Yet these ex-KGB are also hard-headed and calculating. They know NATO is in no state to offer Georgia membership – and the defence guarantees that comes with membership – at least on current levels of military spending. Russia might be more impressed by macho talk from Dick Cheney and the Conservative Leader if it was accompanied by pledges to return defence expenditure to Cold War levels and introduce conscription. Yet the cold logic that led Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher also to propose major rearmament seems to have passed the neo-Conservatives by.

So how do we impress Putin and Medvedev, so that they are deterred from such aggression in the future? How do we reconstruct our defence and foreign policies so we regain the priceless weapon of credibility?

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Tagged and | 40 Comments

What does the Irish “No” vote mean for Europe?

No pro-European can be happy with the Irish “No” vote.

It leaves a huge question mark over the future of the Lisbon Treaty – and coupled with the past “No” votes in France and the Netherlands for the more radical Constitutional Treaty, suggests a continuing inability to marshall our arguments successfully against the diatribes of populist misrepresentation of “No” campaigners.

Can Lisbon be rescued? Only the Irish Government can answer that question – but they should be asked to answer it sooner rather than later. The usual diplomatic practice of playing the long game, letting the dust settle and negotiating …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | 66 Comments

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