But will his warm words for the renewables industry and promises of solid government support mean much in tomorrow’s spending review? Not if a report in today’s Guardian is to be believed.
Mr Huhne told delegates:
When the prime minister promised we would be the greenest government this country has ever seen, he meant it… We will create a green investment bank, to harness private finance to decarbonise energy generation.
But a Decc source reportedly told the Guardian:
It will look like a chunky announcement, in reality most of the money is there but it’s being brought into one place.
The paper said only £2bn would be put into the bank, a third of the £6bn that some had hoped for.
Mr Huhne also told the forum:
We are launching a revolution in energy efficiency, a once-in-a-lifetime refit of our outdated homes to make them fit for 2050.
But the Guardian’s source told them there would be a 10 per cent cut in feed-in tariffs, which are designed to encourage households to invest in renewable generators, such as solar panels.
There was at least some good news for the renewables industry from all this early leaking, however. As I wrote earlier, it looks like the £60m destined to regenerate ports and make them fit for receiving the next generation of offshore wind farms, will be saved.