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Darling takes aim at ‘simplistic’ plan for green energy

Alistair Darling will make a hard-hitting attack on the Liberal Democrats' energy policy today as he condemns Sir Menzies Campbell's decision to rely on wind, wave and tidal power as populist and simplistic.

The Scottish secretary will hail the government's energy review as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to guarantee a secure energy supply for a foreseeable future in Britain.

Without plumping for a new generation of nuclear power plants, although it is widely believed that the government will support one, he will argue that the option must be kept on the table to ensure Britain can maintain a reliable energy supply without relying on imported gas.

Speaking at the Scottish Renewables Forum in Glasgow, he is expected to say: "The review is wide-ranging and thorough – looking at what measures are needed by 2020 and beyond, both to tackle climate change and to ensure secure and affordable energy supplies in the UK.

"This is a once-and-for-all opportunity to look at all the options. I believe that it would be foolish to rule anything out in advance.

"And to rely on offshore or tidal sources that have yet to be developed or proven to be commercially viable is wrong and irresponsible."

Mr Darling, who usually opts for a conciliatory tone, will pour scorn on Sir Menzies's preference on energy.

Although he will not name the Liberal Democrat leader, sources in the Scotland Office revealed Mr Darling will have Sir... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
The Scottish secretary will hail the government's energy review as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to guarantee a secure energy supply for a foreseeable future in Britain.

Without plumping for a new generation of nuclear power plants, although it is widely believed that the government will support one, he will argue that the option must be kept on the table to ensure Britain can maintain a reliable energy supply without relying on imported gas.

Speaking at the Scottish Renewables Forum in Glasgow, he is expected to say: "The review is wide-ranging and thorough – looking at what measures are needed by 2020 and beyond, both to tackle climate change and to ensure secure and affordable energy supplies in the UK.

"This is a once-and-for-all opportunity to look at all the options. I believe that it would be foolish to rule anything out in advance.

"And to rely on offshore or tidal sources that have yet to be developed or proven to be commercially viable is wrong and irresponsible."

Mr Darling, who usually opts for a conciliatory tone, will pour scorn on Sir Menzies's preference on energy.

Although he will not name the Liberal Democrat leader, sources in the Scotland Office revealed Mr Darling will have Sir Menzies firmly in his sights in the wake of his comments at the Scottish LibDem conference in Aviemore at the weekend.

Accusing the Liberal Democrats of opting for the populist rather than the grown-up approach to politics, the Scottish secretary will tell the experts in the renewables industry: "[The LibDems' policy] is an excuse not to face up to some tough decisions. We will need to look at all possible sources of generation, including nuclear energy. There is not going to be one solution which meets all our demands."

Mr Darling will argue that renewable resources will never meet the country's energy requirements.
Implicitly suggesting that the LibDems can opt for the populist and easy solution because they will not have to make the difficult decisions, he will add: "It is wrong to rule out consideration of new generation nuclear power out of hand, in exactly the same way as it is wrong as some would argue to demand a blanket moratorium on wind power developments anywhere in Scotland. It is easy politics – an excuse not to think.

"We need energy at an affordable price for industry and for our people. So we need a grown-up debate. There are no cost-free easy options. But this is one of the biggest challenges we face. Let's have the courage to meet it."


Source: http://www.theherald.co.uk/...

MAR 27 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1875-darling-takes-aim-at-simplistic-plan-for-green-energy
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