The announcement by the Coalition it is withdrawing subsidies for sustainable energy technologies in onshore wind and solar, while simultaneously announcing support for a new (unsustainable) nuclear power plant at Wylfa, backed by the same hugely generous subsidies that Hinkley C is due to receive from the taxpayers, raises serious policy questions about the logic of the Coalition energy policy.
I always thought the Lib Dems had a sensible sustainable energy policy that excluded nuclear and included renewables and enhanced energy efficiency. The exigencies of coalition government led their annual conference in September to reverse decades of well-grounded opposition to nuclear power. Coalitions, it seems, are corrosive of both proper principles and common sense!
I do not believe the issue with new nuclear is whether it is to be built and operated by a private sector, or a nationalised industry , as the Independent newspaper explores today -"Should the Big Six be nationalized," 4 December. (http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/should-the-big-six-be-nationalised-8981112.html)
Whether privately or publicly owned, nuclear power has always required massive subsidies, and in the words of the Environmental Audit Committee report on energy subsidies earlier this week (2 December), whether the Coalition choses to re-label them "market support mechanisms" or "insurance policies", they are subsidies. ( http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmenvaud/61/6106.htm#a8)
As Humpty Dumpty said scornfully in "Alice Through the Looking Glass "'When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."