Which country is to do what, and how ? The ‘burden-sharing’ negotiations are beginning in earnest. With the UK presently getting less than 2% of our energy from so-called renewable sources (laughably, this includes the burning of foot-n-mouth carcasses etc, surely a reductio ad absurdum), it is deeply implausible the UK could get anywhere near the 20%, irrespective of how much money is thrown at it.
Civil servants have all manner of weasely advice for ministers, leaked in August, as to how we can wriggle off this 20% hook. The UK’s devious position is angering several of our EU ‘partners’, not to mention assorted greenies and of course the greedies - the renewables industry, anxious for ever more massive subsidies for its ridiculously uneconomic schemes.
Underlying all this faffing about is a much more serious issue. Not only does the ‘Department for Business,
and Regulatory Reform’ have no idea how the target could be met in practical terms – it doesn’t even know where our electricity will be coming from at all beyond around 2020. Enterprise
Certainly it can summon up scenarios for future ‘generation mix’, but given the certainty of nuclear and ‘old-coal’ plant closures, and the long lead-times for new developments (especially - don't laugh - nucs and dream-schemes like the Severn Barrage), they all look highly optimistic. So much of future capacity must come in large chunks of new-build that if we are going to meet our needs at all it will be from good old coal and gas, not the relatively tiny (as well as expensive) increments in which renewables come. There is nothing concrete behind the optimism: merely blind faith in a poorly understood laissez-faire philosophy that the market will provide.
Perhaps they might like to get off their empty nuclear fixation and sort out the bread-and butter issue of being sure the the lights will stay on, before committing us to their fantasy feel-good targets.