Monday, 22 October 2012

Mushrooms and energy policy

Besides the commotion caused by announcements over tariff simplification, last week's so-called energy summit between Cameron, Clegg, Osborne & Beaker was otherwise remarkable for a lack of reported outcomes. But that may be about to change with claims in the Independent that the government is planning to roll over in favour of the nuclear industry.

According to the paper, leading energy academics say that a long-standing pledge against subsiding atomic power is about to be ditched.

The news comes after a succession of abortive deals which have seen prospective investors pull out at the last minute. The underlying problem cited is government equivocation over the level of support available to multi-national energy firms who have been encouraged to invest in a new series of nuclear plants in Britain.

Proposals said to be under consideration ‘at the highest level’ include taxpayers being left to cover the cost of budget over-runs or building delays at new nuclear plants. And as the Indy observes, setbacks costing millions are pretty much the norm with complex construction projects.

It will require some skillful manipulation in order to portray what is bound to be a very controversial adjustment in energy policy as part of a much needed growth agenda. No-one is sure as to whether this is something on which Cameron & Clegg will do a double handstand or if another impasse beckons.

Either way it looks likely that it will end up in the lap of the Downing Street crisis manager who recently admitted on US television that he is continually surprised by what ministers get up to.

1 comment:

  1. Dr Jock20:21

    What bothers me is that there is not even a peep coming out of Downing Street to deny what these academics are saying. I wouldn't put is past the ConDems to sneak this subsidy idea through as an economic growth measure.


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