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Calls for cost of green energy to be revealed  

Credit:  Sophy Ridge, political correspondent, Sky News, news.sky.com 18 January 2012 ~~

Plans to expand renewable energy sources will cost families £400 a year by 2020, a leading think tank has warned.

Policy Exchange accuses Energy Secretary Chris Huhne of “misleading” the public by suggesting bills may go down as a result of the Government’s drive for green energy.

The think tank has called on ministers to be “more transparent” and believes the Government’s green targets should be “renegotiated”.

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said £400 was “not a credible figure and appears to be based on flawed analysis”.

The cost of renewable or “green” energy is a controversial topic with both sides disputing the figures.

Wednesday’s report comes as a row is brewing over whether the Government should be forced to reveal estimates for the potential costs of targets to cut carbon emissions.

Dominic Raab, the Conservative MP, has highlighted a Freedom of Information request blocked by DECC.

The original request – made in February 2010 by the Director of the Taxpayers Alliance Matthew Sinclair – asked for “analysis of the potential cost of strengthened climate change commitments at Copenhagen”.

The Department responded a month later to say that it did hold the relevant information, which included seven different items ranging from a paper prepared for the then Prime Minister in 2009 and notes from DECC economists.

However, it declined to provide it as “disclosure would adversely affect international relations”. In November 2011, the Information Commissioner refused an appeal.

Mr Raab is now calling on the Energy Secretary to release the information.

He told Sky News: “It is pretty outrageous that Labour leader Ed Miliband buried the economic impact assessment the government did on UK emission reductions offered in an effort to reach a global deal.

“Environmental policy needs to be debated responsibly on the basis of all the facts, and the public have a right to know the costs they will bear.

“There is every reason to believe that Chris Huhne will now release the economic assessment, given his strong stance on transparency and reducing the scope of exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act,” he added.

There is particular pressure on the Liberal Democrats to because they have repeatedly called to reduce the number of exemptions.

In Janary 2011 Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “The Freedom of Information Act was a good start, but it was only a start.

“Exceptions remain far too common and the available information is far too often placed behind tedious bureaucratic hurdles.”

Furthermore in 2009, as the Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesperson, Mr Huhne campaigned to “strengthen freedom of information by giving greater powers to the information commissioner and reducing exemptions”.

Source:  Sophy Ridge, political correspondent, Sky News, news.sky.com 18 January 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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