Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, has hit back at an article published in the Guardian (March 12, ‘UK wants renewable energy target scrapped’), lambasting it as “misleading” and “wholly wrong”.

The article claimed that a leaked document detailed that Government were looking at giving nuclear parity with renewables in Europe. According to the Guardian, the document also indicates that the UK will not support a renewable target in 2030, stating: “The UK envisages multiple low-carbon technologies: renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage, all competing freely against each other in the years to come … For this reason, we cannot support a 2030 renewables target.”

Ruth Davis, of Greenpeace, responded to the document, stating: “Many companies have already put their investments in UK renewables projects on hold, as they lose confidence in Government's domestic energy policies,” she said. “By opposing a European renewables target, the UK is signalling that it would prefer business as usual in its own energy sector to a German-style green industrial revolution.”

The Energy and Climate Change Secretary labelled the article as “wholly wrong” stating: “The document discussed is explicit in listing nuclear and CCS as separate to renewables.  Nuclear power is not a renewable technology, fact.”

Davey continued: “At issue is what new EU targets should be put in place for 2030. The UK is one of a number of countries who believe any new targets should be technology neutral, leaving Member States free to determine the most cost effective energy mix to get the best deal for consumers.

“Our communication to the Commission explicitly states that the UK is not in any way ‘against renewables’.  Far from it – renewables will play a key role in the future UK energy mix, helping to reduce import dependency and meet our carbon targets.” 

Davey concluded: “The consumer will be best served in the long term through all low carbon energy technologies competing freely to meet our energy needs and emission reduction targets.”

In response to the minister’s criticisms the Guardian has amended the original headline and corrected the copy.