Former energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey slams Conservative ministers, as Carbon Brief investigation reveals energy bills likely to be lower than thought in 2020. Former Energy and Climate Change Secretary Sir Edward Davey has launched a blistering attack on the government, accusing it of “butchering the UK’s renewables on the basis of Alice in Wonderland economics”. Davey, who was knighted in the New Year’s Honours List and is currently chair of community energy specialist Mongoose Energy, offered the blunt assessment in response to revelations official government projections suggest average domestic energy bills will be lower in 2020 than previously thought. An investigation by the Carbon Brief website today detailed responses to a long-running Freedom of Information request relating to the government’s levy control framework (LCF) spending cap for clean energy subsidies and ministers’ repeated assertion the cap is on track to be breached by £1.5bn in 2020, leading to higher energy bills for households. Ministers have repeatedly claimed steep cuts to renewable energy subsidies were urgently required to keep rising energy bills under control. In response to an FOI request from Carbon Brief the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) released a series of emails between officials last summer showing that even before ministers moved to slash renewable energy subsidies the government expected an average household energy bill would be £1,222 in 2020, around seven per cent lower than the £1,319 projection made the previous year. Davey said 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 on the LCF.
Business Green 5th Jan 2016 read more »
The success of Energy Secretary Amber Rudd’s energy policy reset will rely heavily on external factors aligning in the early months of this year, a former shadow energy minister has warned. Rudd, under the heavy influence of the Treasury, backs shale gas development at the expense of renewable energy and carbon capture and storage support in a bid to keep consumer costs low. But former shadow minister Tom Greatrex says that the position leaves the government vulnerable to events beyond its control at a time when generation capacity remains a concern. In an exclusive column for Utility Week Greatrex warns that the government will rely on a continued mild, wet and windy winter to safeguard against supply shortfall and keep consumer winter heating costs low. Also the Competition and Markets Authority investigation will need to provide an outcome which is satisfactory to both industry and consumers alike and the oil price will need to recover to levels which makes shale development a viable investment, Greatrex warns.
Utility Week 6th Jan 2016 read more »