Have KPMG slammed renewables? Er, they're not sure?
- 07 Nov 2011, 18:00
- Christian Hunt
Has accountancy giant KPMG written a report slamming the role of
renewables in government policy or not? The answer to that question
seemed clear this morning, but has become increasingly murky as the
It all made sense when we got into the office. The Sunday Times
trailed the report yesterday, with the top-line:
"The government could save each member
of the population almost £550 by 2020 if it scraps expensive wind
energy plans in favour of cheaper nuclear and gas-fired power
A controversial report by KPMG, the accountants and adviser on
government energy policy, will this week say that Britain can reach
the 2020 target on reducing pollution imposed by the European Union
for a third less than predicted, a potential saving of £34
The article also said that
"The report could reignite the feud
between George Osborne, the chancellor, and Chris Huhne, the energy
secretary, on how best to tackle Britain's energy needs."
This morning RenewableUK - a renewables industry lobby group -
released a statement criticising what they called the "flawed
KPMG energy report", with their analysis apparently based on the
Sunday Times story and a KPMG press release outlining the main
conclusions of the work.
We're interested in this kind of thing, and so we got in touch
with KPMG to ask if we could see a pre-release copy of the report.
Weirdly, KPMG responded by telling us that the Sunday Times story
was based on "preliminary findings" and "...the full report itself
is still being written". They added cheerily that they would let us
know when they had a clearer idea of timing, and "hopefully we're
not too far off!"
This is strange because according to
Guardian, and, er, the KPMG press release, the report will be
out tomorrow. And
BusinessGreen says that:
"a spokesman for KMPG declined to
disclose the full findings of the report to BusinessGreen, but said
it had been finalised and would be published shortly."
It also seems the findings of the report will form a key part of
tonight's 'Panorama'. The
presenter of the programme, Tom Heap, tweeted earlier
"Could the Government's commitment to
renewables like offshore wind be adding £34 bn to energy bills? #panorama
t'nite 8.30 BBC 1"
The £34 billion figure is also the top-line of the KPMG report
as trailed in the Times. KPMG told us that their press release was
a "draft press release that was not issued to the media. This has
It's difficult to comment properly on KPMG's work when you haven't
seen the report - it may well be perfectly sound. This all smacks
slightly of our previous experience trying to understand energy
numbers in the media which turned out to be based on a
report which wasn't publicly available, which the authors
wouldn't discuss, and which contained no further detail about how
the figure was calculated.
We'll wait and see what use Panorama makes of the KPMG's work in
progress. But it's always nice to know where the numbers have come
from, and if the work (maybe) hasn't been done yet, that can be