Huhne vows renewables renaissance

UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne has vowed that the renewables industry “will come of age under this government”, and also pledged to put energy security “at the […]

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By Kelvin Ross

UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne has vowed that the renewables industry “will come of age under this government”, and also pledged to put energy security “at the heart of our national security strategy”.

Mr Huhne was at the All Energy renewables conference in Aberdeen, where he hailed the city as “the UK’s power house, our energy capital”.

He also said it was a “scandal” that the UK has “got one of the best renewable energy resources anywhere in the world ­- and the know how to exploit it – and yet we’re one of the worst performing countries when it comes to harnessing it”.

Mr Huhne said he had two key responsibilities: “Cutting dangerous carbon emissions and ensuring secure and reliable energy supplies.”

He said there was “no room for complacency” over energy security. “There could be 20 billion barrels of oil equivalent left to exploit, but the UK competes against every other basin in the world for investment and I am committed to make sure that we have alicensing regime and investment environment that attracts quality companies and investment to fully exploit the remaining potential. We will work closely with the industry to ensure that we can achieve just that.”

Mr Huhne said energy security had been “a second order issue” for too long and vowed to put it “back at the heart of our national security strategy”.

“At the same time we have a shortening window for action to prevent the most damaging impacts of climate change.One of the biggest scandals is that we’ve got one of the best renewable energy resources anywhere in the world – and the know how to exploit it – and yet we’re one of the worst performing countries when it comes to harnessing it.”

The energy secretary told delegates: “The renewables industry will come of age under this government. It’s early days, but our coalition agreement is explicit in its support for the sector. The prize is too great to let this opportunity pass us by. The UK must reap the rewards from its renewable energy potential just as we do with our oil and gas supplies.”

He also hailed the host city of All Energy. “Aberdeen is the UK’s powerhouse, our energy capital. Its workforce is respected the world over, its contribution to our economy and our energy security beyond question. And it is increasingly staking a claim as a leader in the new low carbon energy technologies that will help us tackle climate change.”