LibLink: Ed Davey says Government is “butchering UK’s renewables”


BusinessGreen refers to some of Ed Davey’s recent comments as a ‘blistering attack’ in which he ‘slams Conservative ministers’.

He was responding to some research, including Freedom of Information requests, that was carried out by the Carbon Brief. In a nutshell, Conservative ministers  have been claiming that household energy bills were rising because of a projected overspend of £1.5 billion by 2020 on subsidies for clean energy. Hence, they claim there was an urgent need to cut the subsidies for renewables.

But the disclosed emails between officials at the Department of Energy and Climate Change show that by last summer they already knew that energy bills would be 7% lower than originally projected.

According to BusinessGreen, Ed Davey claimed that ‘the revelations provided further evidence the government had slashed renewable energy subsidies on the false premise there was excessive upward pressure on energy bills. He also urged ministers to now release the full detail of the calculations used to project a £1.5bn overspend.’

He said:

How the alleged overspend … was calculated unfortunately remains a mystery. The scandalous lack of openness and transparency on that crucial calculation means the Conservatives are decimating a whole industry, with no convincing hard evidence to justify their decisions.

These emails do at least confirm what I’ve argued all along… I told [George] Osborne we needed an LCF where investment spend was robust to short term fluctuations in wholesale fossil fuel prices. He wouldn’t accept our plans to design out the problem, but agreed instead to a 20 per cent contingency above the levy control ceiling, if wholesale prices turned out lower than expected.

Now that they have, and because Lib Dems aren’t there to keep them honest, the Conservatives are failing to use that contingency. This is Alice in Wonderland economics, which is butchering the UK’s successful renewables industry.


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  • Good to see Ed Davey, one of our better ministers, calling a spade a spade…..BUT……

    It’s yet another time to reflect on the short term temporary fix that was the Coalition…. and its long term consequences for the Liberal Democrats.

    If you ride on the back of a crocodile don’t be surprised if ……. We got wiped out for what ? Why wasn’t there an exit strategy ?

  • Jenny Barnes 6th Jan '16 - 4:10pm

    Tories don’t believe in climate change, so what do you expect?

  • @ Jenny Barnes Some of them (such as Nigel Lawson) maybe. I’m prepared to bash the Tories as much as anybody else, but don’t please let’s keep it accurate.

    His Nibs said this two years ago :

    “26th February, 2014 The Guardian : David Cameron has issued his strongest declaration that climate change is man-made when he said it was one of the most serious threats facing Britain and the rest of the world”.

  • @David Raw
    “It’s yet another time to reflect on the short term temporary fix that was the Coalition…. and its long term consequences for the Liberal Democrats.”

    It worked out OK for some – including the former minister whom LDV coyly refrains from referring to as “Sir Edward Davey”.

  • @ Stuart. Yes, agree with that…

  • Jenny barnes 6th Jan '16 - 5:59pm

    David raw. Talk is cheap. They say just enough to keep most of the voters happy while subsidising fossil fuel. Actions tell you what folk really believe.

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