It has been an eventful few weeks for Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne, what with bust ups round the Cabinet table, speculation about a possible resignation and leadership challenge, and allegations from his estranged wife, strongly denied, that he once got someone else to take the rap for breaking the speed limit.
But any hopes of a respite from controversy now that the local elections and AV referendum are over appear to have been already dashed by a DECC in-tray brimming with difficult decisions and potential flash points with fellow ministers.
The release today of the Committee on Climate Change's (CCC's) long-awaited report on the future of UK renewables raises a whole host of fresh challenges for the coalition government, few of which will be easily resolved.
Even the manner in which the CCC's recommendations have been reported highlights the difficult decisions DECC faces, with the BBC, The Times and others boiling down a wide-ranging and complex report advocating a huge increase in renewable energy, nuclear and CCS technologies to the simple headline: 'Nuclear 'cheapest option' for UK.'
The report does indeed suggest that nuclear is the 'cheapest option' for the 2020s, but the headlines omit the fact that the CCC concludes that renewables could well become the cheaper alternative in the long term as costs begin to fall, and that new nuclear reactors should be pursued only if questions over safety and government subsidy can be resolved.
Pro-nuclear campaigners also conveniently brush aside the question posed by Friends of the Earth's Craig Bennett: If nuclear really is the 'cheapest option' why do we not have a new fleet of reactors already?
The nuclear question presents Huhne with a huge headache as he attempts to broker a peace deal with the warring renewables and nuclear wings of the low carbon energy industry and, more importantly, convince investors that money can flow into both sectors without one draining resources and focus from the other.
This is just one of a myriad of challenges highlighted by the CCC report. For example, the suggestion that onshore wind presents a more cost effective alternative than offshore wind farms, and that offshore wind expansion plans should be tempered accordingly, may well be justified.
But it underplays the fact that the last Labour government drew up ambitious plans for offshore wind only because they could not get onshore wind farms built in sufficient numbers - a reality that will become even more apparent if Eric Pickle's development-blocking Localism Bill passes in its current form.
Similarly, the CCC is entirely right to argue that investor confidence in capital intensive renewable energy projects such as offshore wind farms and marine energy parks is being undermined by the government's failure to map out a post-2020 vision for the renewable sector.
But how does the coalition deliver a vision that investors can believe in when the same CCC report makes the point that flexibility is required so that the strategy can adapt to the changing cost structure of different low carbon technologies? Currently, as the feed-in tariff fiasco demonstrates, the government struggles to provide investor certainty from one month to the next, let alone in 10 years' time.
The CCC report also demonstrates the challenges faced by the government's flagship Green Deal energy scheme - which gets its second reading tomorrow as part of the coalition's Energy Bill - recommending even at this late stage that fundamental changes are required to integrate the Green Deal and the Renewable Heat Incentive schemes.
Add in the urgent need to finalise the proposed electricity market reforms, reach a decision on solar feed-in tariffs, win the battle with those Cabinet ministers currently suggesting that the UK defy the CCC's recommendation that the next carbon budget contains a commitment to cut emissions 60 per cent by 2030, and resolve the energy policy turf war with the Treasury which, according to insiders, was worsening even before Huhne remonstrated with George Osborne round the Cabinet table, and it becomes clear that DECC is entering a critical few months.
For me, it is hard to disagree with much of the substance contained in Jonathon Porritt's withering demolition of the government's green record this weekend, but it still feels like it's a touch premature in its condemnation.
After 12 months of laying the foundations, Huhne's DECC now has six months to overcome the many challenges it faces and really start demonstrating that it can deliver effective and workable low carbon policies. Achieve that, and all the controversy will be well worth it.
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