War of words at UK department of energy

The UK’s energy secretary, Ed Davey, has berated the Conservative Party for their pledge to end wind subsidies.

Mr Davey’s comments on the wind power question were dismissed by new energy minister Amber Rudd who stated that the views were his own alone.

With next year’s general election looming, the gloves are off among the coalition partners and the in-house fighting that has been apparent since the beginning of their reign has again come to the fore.

The energy secretary told the Energy UK annual conference, ‘the party that takes wind off the table is reckless’ and accused his coalition government partners of “reckless” behaviour for their manifesto commitment to end subsidies for onshore wind.
Amber Rudd and Ed Davey
The Liberal Democrat MP said Britain needed as many renewable energy technologies as possible and dismissed fears of the lights going out this winter, attacked Labour over its proposals to freeze domestic prices and insisted his own policies were sucking in much-needed investment.

“In just four years under this coalition, we have surpassed the total electricity investment achieved under the last government in 13 years, with over à‚£45bn invested in electricity generation and networks alone,” he said.

Asked from the conference floor to justify current investment priorities, the energy secretary said he wanted to encourage as wide a group of low carbon technologies as possible to make sure Britain benefited. “I think the party that takes wind off the table is reckless,” he said, adding: “If we focused on one [technology] we’d be far more exposed in the future.”

But Rudd argued that while diversification of supply was important it should only be done with the support of local communities, in a thinly veiled attack on onshore wind.

Mr Davey last week also described as “reckless in the extreme” a call by the former environment secretary Owen Paterson for a suspension of the Climate Change Act.

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