Alex Meredith

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Huhne’s Long Shadow There is never a good day for a former Cabinet minister to admit perverting the course of justice.  However for the department he once led and the green policies he once championed, the guilty plea of former Sec of State for Climate, Chris Huhne, could not have come at a worse time. Since Huhne resigned to ‘clear his name’, Ed Davey and his colleagues at DECC have battled to… Read More

High profile Conservatives (including the Chancellor and the Energy minister John Hayes) spent most of 2012 trying to undermine and diminish the UK’s already doubtful commitment to building a  green economy.   Whether is was vetoing decarbonisation targets in the Energy Bill or publicly criticising proven renewable technologies, the dog whistle politics of backing industry or countryside lobbies over environmental concerns was too tempting to resist.  By the end of the year Tory… Read More

At a seminar this week there was a chance to hear from one of the key protagonists in the governments discussions on climate change policy. David Kennedy (CEO of the Committee on Climate Change) was candid in confirming that energy policy was now being run from Number 10 and the Treasury.   His view was that this represented a grave risk as the lack of resources to handle the technical detail of the… Read More

It was a gentle and carefree ride for David Cameron through his supposed ‘grilling’ by the Ad Hoc Select Committee on Tuesday. Facing questions on energy policy, the committee had an arsenal of ammunition at their disposal.  Bickering ministers, contradictory policies and extraordinary vetoes could have put the Prime Minister in the cross hairs.  Sadly the committee members were mostly firing blanks.  Cameron was comfortable, so comfortable in fact that his greatest… Read More

DECC’s gas strategy is a huge gamble for the UK energy consumer.   The Government just took your future energy bills and placed them on a horse named Shale. Whichever way you cut it, the Gas Strategy will see the UK’s medium term energy future hugely reliant on gas power stations – up to 37GW.  Running that amount of plant means a lot of carbon dioxide pumping into the atmosphere, but it also  means… Read More

Another week, another big call for energy policy.  Following last week’s Energy Bill, it is time for Ed Davey to point the way on the use of unconventional gas supplies.  He will give fracking the green light following the George Osborne’s Autumn Statement which is widely expected to include tax breaks for the companies experimenting with the process. Fracking is another of the unjust energy solutions that realises possible long term benefits… Read More

The FT broke the story, but Damian Carrington at the Guardian has put it in clearest context.  The blocking of the appointment of David Kennedy as the new permanent secretary to DECC is an extraordinary intervention by a Prime Minister.  It shows a leader so desperate to undermine the progressive moves by DECC to support green growth that he will resort to naked exercise of his prerogative to veto a transparent recruitment… Read More

In a year when ‘omnishambles’ took all the laurels for new political vocabulary my personal favourite is the ‘energy trilemma’.  How does a government in a country of fully privatised energy sector keep the lights on, keep energy affordable and reduce carbon emissions.  During a successful and popular period at DECC,  Ed Miliband was keenly aware of the trilemma.  Yet he treated it like decorating the spare room – a lot time… Read More