Stephen Tindale of the Centre for European Reform, a former government environmental adviser and director of Greenpeace UK, blogs for on the new electricity white paper

Chris Huhne has said his electricity white paper and renewables proposals, put out this week, add up to the greatest transformation of energy since the privatisation of the energy industry.

He is right that the ambition is transformative, and includes some sensible regulatory measures which prove that the energy and climate department (DECC) does not share in the deregulatory zeal that dominates several other departments (including DEFRA).

But anyone who has followed UK energy policy over recent decades knows that political ambition does not always, or indeed often, lead to significant change.  Despite regular speeches from politicians extolling renewables, and numerous plans, the UK (windy, wet islands) is third from bottom in the European league table of energy got from renewable sources. Plans, or roadmaps to use current  jargon, require delivery. (more…)