It sounds so simple, doesn’t it – “no subsidy”. Which bit of that do you not understand?
But if the Trades’ Description Act applied to political pronouncements, Chris Huhne would find himself subject to prosecution for outright deception.
In other words, renewables will be eligible for any form of subsidy that applies to nuclear or other low-carbon generation through tools such as carbon pricing or emissions trading.
Let me put that into honest English: “we will be perfectly content, yet again, to let the renewables industry absolve itself of its proper responsibilities for waste management and decommissioning, and will ensure that either tax payers or energy consumers pick up their ‘full share of waste management costs’ through the renewables obligation on their energy bills or any support mechanism”.
And as if all that wasn’t enough (in terms of ensuring that “no subsidy” actually means almost limitless subsidy if that’s what it takes to get the damn things built, just listen to the brilliantly manipulative words that DECC’s senior civil servants have succeeded in getting Chris Huhne to utter:
“Arguably, few economic activities can be absolutely free of subsidy in some respect, given the wide range of state activity and the need to abide by international treaty obligations. Our ‘no subsidy policy’ will therefore need to be applied having regard to proportionality and materiality”.
Ho Bloody Ho! Proportionately speaking, of course.
You’ve got to hand it to the renewables lobby – both in DECC and in the energy companies. Far from the ‘no subsidy’ claim being a barrier to new renewables, it simply provides a brilliant screen for devising all sorts of clever tricks to guarantee massive, continuing subsidy of the kind that the industry has always depended on. And always will depend on in the future.
The thing is, all of the above is true. But I can\’t work out what he\’s complaining about. Isn\’t he in favour of low carbon generation and the subsidies that requires?