The UK coalition’s increasingly fraught relationship has taken another turn for the worst, with the stand-off between Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Liberal Democrat energy secretary Ed Davey, over the priority fuel for the country’s energy future.
Mr Osborne believes gas is the way forward and is keen to increase proposed cuts to be imposed on wind subsidies, believing that overgenerous support for renewables will deter investment in gas fired power stations.
In his March Budget, Mr Osborne declared: “Gas is cheap, has much less carbon than coal and will be the largest single source of our electricity in the coming years.”
Mr Davey, who is working on a gas strategy, has been forced to cancel an announcement, planned for this week, on renewable subsidies. The Tory enthusiasm for shale gas is not shared by the energy secretary who has misgivings about the fracking process used to extract the energy.
According to the Financial Times, officials on both sides say the main stumbling block is Mr Osborne’s insistence on linking the renewables policy to decisions on gas so that there is “a credible and certain framework” for investment in both.
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