Huhne really is a twat

The Government last night insisted that leaving the electricity system as it is would be more costly in the long run. It believes switching to nuclear and wind makes sense because European Union-led taxes on gas and coal power generation will increase the costs of fossil fuel generation.

So, our aim is to reduce the use of fossil fuels. OK.

We\’re taxing fossil fuels, this will make them more expensive relative to other energy sources and so we\’ll use fewer fossil fuels than we would without the tax.

Good, we\’re done.

We even know that if we put the tax at the social cost of using fossil fuels (Stern\’s $80 per tonne CO2 perhaps, Nordhaus\’ lower now but rising higher later alternative maybe) then we get the socially optimal amount of switching from fossil to non-fossil fuels.

Costly new incentives to encourage energy companies to invest in renewable power sources such as wind farms will put an extra £160 a year on the average household bill over the next 20 years.

So what\’s this fakakka?

Mr Huhne is expected to announce on Tuesday that energy companies, such as Centrica and EDF, will get a fixed price for electricity generated from nuclear power and wind farms, which will be higher than the market price.

We don\’t need to do this as well. We\’ve already solved the problem by having the appropriate carbon tax.

Is is just that Huhne is a twat or is he an idiot as well?

5 thoughts on “Huhne really is a twat”

  1. He’s both.
    Fortunately he’s a poltroon as well and will in the end do what his civil servants and lobbyists tell him.

  2. Come now Tim, you know the answer as well as I do: Huhne doesn’t per se want reduced CO2 generation, he wants the results that fit his pre-conceived beliefs. A pure carbon won’t produce those results, so he declares we need all sorts of other levers applied. A very Marxist-Lennist approach: yes, the triumph of the idea is inevitable, but just in case, we need a shedload of shootings and GULAG’s….

  3. It could be worse, at least he’s not shutting down all the nukes (as the Greens would have him do) so at least there is a chance of getting low carbon power without the lights going out.

  4. No, it is because he thinks that having a tax and a subsidy will make it easier for people to defend wind power. When realists say that it only looks comopetitive because it gets a subsidy and fossil fuel has to pay an extra tax, people will think that we asre double-counting.
    Huhne and the civil servants he inherited from Brown are not as stupid as we might like.

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