Thursday, July 28, 2016

Has Chris Huhne been brainwashed?

Chris Huhne's 'performance' at the memorable Shell/Daily Telegraph Energy Scenarios event in London back in 2010 was impressive. He indicated strong commitment to energy efficiency, renewables in general and in particular a European supergrid for renewables, major study on which was translated by the HE Translations team and published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Notably, Chris Huhne told the audience – in direct response to a question I put to him on this subject – that he was "completely sold on interconnection".

Equally impressive  was Chris Huhne's passionate broadside against anti-wind pontificators at the Renewable UK 2011 conference in Manchester, during which he referred to an "unholy alliance of short-termists, armchair engineers, climate sceptics and vested interests ... selling the UK economy short by their refusals to acknowledge the benefits that renewables will bring".

Sadly, his performance in an interview about the Hinkley C madness on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning was lamentable. In complete contrast to his previous enthusiasm for renewables, he pontificated about the variability or renewables in a manner one is used to from unenlightened renewables sceptics and about the alleged need for new baseload (which is an outdated concept), verging on enthusiastic support for the Hinkley C white elephant. A classic Victor Meldrew moment! Tom Burke, on the other hand, was in his usual excellent form on the same programme.

Chris Huhne at the Delabole windfarm in Truro, England, c.2011.
Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images