Osborne to Davey: support "unabated" gas to 2030 & hold back renewables.

FT: “George Osborne has offered to drop his demands for tougher cuts to onshore wind subsidies if the Liberal Democrats back down over “inflexible” targets for Britain’s shift away from fossil fuels.” ….In his letter, the chancellor said he expected Mr Davey to make a “clear, strong signal” in a statement that he would support “unabated gas” up to 2030 and beyond.”
The letter: “We need to set out an approach which puts the cost to consumers at its heart. This would include:
– a statement which gives a clear, strong signal that we regard unabated gas as able to play a core part of our electricity generation to at least 2030 – not just providing back-up for wind plant or peaking capacity. This will provide context for the gas strategy and will help reassure investors, enabling investment in new gas power stations and the infrastructure that supports them such as pipelines between Norway and the UK which could enable us to become a gas hub. We should commit publicly to ensuring that British consumers will be able to get the benefits if the price of gas falls;
– agreement that we will not set any further decarbonisation or deployment targets beyond those we already have, for example 2030 targets for electricity emissions or renewable deployment. Setting inflexible targets on the energy sector is inefficient; and
– limiting support for low-carbon generation to a level that the country can afford and making full use of the flexibilities available to us. We should agree now that the cap we set on levy-funded spending will be based on an expectation that we will use renewables trading to contribute to the 2020 target.
Finally, to ensure continued financial control of policies in the nearer term, it would be sensible to include provision in the forthcoming Energy Bill to take powers to shut the Feed-in Tariffs scheme in the future, should this become necessary.”