By the time you read this, a group of EU leaders will have sat down, bashed their heads together, and (hopefully) agreed on proposals that, by 2020, will enable
Somewhat refreshingly, if the comments of Malcolm Wicks on Tuesday’s Today programme are anything to go by, the
Although Wicks warned that elements of the proposed package of measures could damage free trade, he also suggested that the 20 per cent target, while challenging, is eminently achievable in the
This is all quite cheering news, and also a little surprising, given that just a few months ago the minister told BBC’s Newsnight that Blair’s pledge to source 20 per cent of our power from renewables was unachievable, and that 10 per cent, from a current level of two per cent was far more realistic. He even had the cheek to suggest that a 20 per cent Europe wide target could still be met even if some of the member states (ie the
So why the change of heart? Political expediency would probably be the guess of any moderately cynical observer, but perhaps, just perhaps, the government has a better grasp of the facts than it did before Christmas.
Perhaps back then it hadn’t factored in the five per cent contribution that could be made by the Severn Barrage alone (a proposal which appears to be gathering momentum once again). Perhaps they hadn’t taken into account the numerous wind power schemes around the
If the government has just started taking factors such as these into account, it will have realised that the 20 per cent goal is perhaps not as tricky as it once seemed, and it could explain Wicks’ new ‘can do’ mentality. Political expediency or not, for the moment it’s refreshing to see the government not trying to wriggle out of its renewable energy commitments.