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Christopher Booker: Can Owen Paterson Help Britain To Keep The Lights On?

It is safe to predict that no speech made by a British politician this week will be more surprising or significant than that to be delivered by a senior Conservative, who was sacked from the Cabinet last July for being too good at his job.

On Wednesday, as reported on our front page, Owen Paterson, our former environment secretary, will give the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s annual lecture. It’s entitled “Keeping the lights on”, and is focused on Britain’s energy policy.

And having seen the mass of expert research on which his lecture is based, I can only say, as someone who has been writing about energy for years, that it shows how the reality of the situation now facing us is even more alarming than anything I have reported on this subject before.

Mr Paterson will, for the first time, reveal clearly just what we have now been committed to under the two Lib Dem ministers, Chris Huhne and Ed Davey, who, since 2010, have presided over our energy and climate change policy. Most of this is hidden away in policy documents so obscure that few non-insiders have any idea of where we are heading. But Paterson will explain, first, what is really now being planned, and, second, why it cannot conceivably work. He will then set out what hard-headed technical experts believe to be the only practical policy that could save us from an almost unimaginable national disaster.

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