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United Kingdom

Honesty from former UK energy minister at BWEA conference

An insight into the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)'s relationship with the former energy regulator was afforded by guest speaker at the BWEA conference dinner, ex-energy minister Brian Wilson. Freed now from ministerial constraints, he referred to the frustration of his "cat and mouse encounters with one Callum McCarthy." Now that McCarthy has left Ofgem to head the Financial Services Authority, Wilson commented: "If he applies the same magic touch to the pensions industry, we can all look forward to working until we're 90."

Bemoaning the lack of joined up government over renewable energy, Wilson also revealed that at the first meeting of the new Renewables Advisory Board, with siting consent problems and aviation radar disturbance top of the agenda (main story), the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, which has responsibility for site permitting, sent a junior official, and the Ministry of Defence sent nobody at all. This anecdote reflected the reality of the difficulty in getting all the wheels of government moving in the same direction at the same time, he said.

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