The government’s renewables policies have been attacked as “stupid and barmy” and described as the “height of irresponsibility”, by a former energy secretary.
Speaking to the energy sector at the Energy Live 2015 conference, Ed Davey accused the government of making it up as they went along and lying to the sector about the need to cut support as a way to control prices for consumers.
Ed Davey, who served as Liberal Democrat energy secretary in the last coalition government, said he felt a responsibility to speak out.
“They don’t have in their back pocket a new energy policy, they have not made all these changes in the last few months, including an 87% cut in support for Fits because they know what they want to do – they are just making it up as they go along – now that is the height of irresponsibility,” Mr Davey told Energy Live News.
“We are seeing billions of pounds that could be invested in the UK just going elsewhere thanks to stupid policies”
He described the government’s recent cuts to renewables support and planning policies as “stupid and barmy policies”.
Mr Davey added: “We are seeing billions of pounds that could be invested in the UK just going elsewhere thanks to stupid policies.
“Their proposal to get rid of levy exemption certificates and basically put a carbon tax on renewables – is, in the words of the former chief government economist, barmy.
“We are being governed by a group of people, some of whom don’t seem to understand the energy market, what government needs to do to get investment and [who don’t] seem to understand the urgency of tackling climate change.
“Everyone should speak out about this, about the damage being done to our country because of stupid, ill-thought-through policies.”
Government ‘cutting based on a lie’
The government has said the Levy Control Framework – a tool used to support the control of costs to consumers from energy policies – is spent.
This has been used to justify the cuts to renewable technologies.
But Mr Davey accused the government of lying about it being spent.
He said: “They are basing all of their decisions, saying the levy control framework is all spent – it isn’t.
“This is one big lie. They are cutting based on a lie.”
“But it’s worse that that, my dear old friends at Decc haven’t published the assumptions they made behind the levy control framework figures, I wonder why.”
Osborne calling the shots puts Decc at risk
George Osborne was orchestrating the cuts, said Mr Davey and therefore he couldn’t blame energy secretary Amber Rudd for the policy changes.
“George is about becoming the next leader of the Tory party and everything is being sacrificed to that.
“I don’t have a lot of time for George, he is a very clever guy but he is making some very serious mistakes.”
Decc was probably not at risk of being binned while David Cameron was prime minister, said Mr Davey, because it would be the “last nail in the coffin” to his “green wash” if it was.
However, if Mr Osborne became prime minister, this could very likely change, he warned.