So it seems that the Guardian’s earlier article regarding the UK’s stance on renewable targets and it’s apparent attempts at pushing nuclear into the renewable club are misguided, if a letter from the Secretary of State is to be fully trusted, in which the whole situation laid out in the popular newspaper today was disregarded completely.
According to the letter, the UK is both completely committed to 2020 targets and has already included in its plans an energy roadmap to accomplish this, and also explicitly mentions that nuclear is not being lobbied as a renewable energy, but is being grouped with CCS as a separate category altogether, and thus the article was wrong.
However, it does state that the UK stance on 2030 targets, the particular targets mentioned in the original Guardian article, is unclear and needs clarification. They feel that any targets set should be ‘technology neutral’ so that countries are able to choose their own mix of low-carbon sources to get the best deal for consumers, even if this ends up including nuclear and other not-so-clean technologies in the above mentioned mix.
It would seem that the Guardian article was slightly rash on using this leaked document as totally credible material, and my previous blog may have been equally hasty, even despite my warnings over the document itself.
However, the Guardian focused on the 2030 targets, and not the 2020 ones mentioned in the letter, and therefore I feel this section of the article is fair in its comments, but not so good in its handling of the nuclear/renewable section.
But this is how media works unfortunately, newspapers dig hard, the Guardian especially, and sometimes leaked documents aren’t all that they seem, but then both sides can be hard to trust in situations like this; both could be covering their own backs, but at least it draws attention.
One thing to take from this, despite the cautionary warning and a possible apology from both me and the Guardian, is that the UK is intent on this ‘tech neutral’ approach. What portion of that mix will be renewable, and not nuclear, remains to be seen, but I’m hoping a lot.