The permanent secretary to the Department for Energy and Climate Change has resigned amid rumours of fierce skirmishes with the treasury.
Moira Wallace, who led the department for four years, said it had been “a fantastic privilege” and wished the department well before handing in her resignation late last night.
The resignation comes as another blow to a department already shaken by the confusion over feed-in tariffs and an ongoing row with the Chancellor, who was today reported by the Financial Times to be blocking an onshore wind farm subsidy package.
The right wing of the Conservative party believes wind farms are “inefficient and intermittent”, and that the subsidy levels should be cut by more than Mr. Davey’s proposed 10 per cent to avoid endangering the gas industry.
The renewable energy industry looked to be gaining some stability yesterday as an agreement was reached by Dong Energy and Siemens Energy to install 300 offshore wind turbines in the coming years. The department today revealed plans to guarantee feed-in tariff accreditation for wind and photovoltaic projects before construction.
Shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint today urged the government to take responsibility for “the chaos and confusion that has engulfed the department of energy and climate change”.
Energy secretary Ed Davey thanked Ms. Wallace for her “support and for the tremendous contribution she has made to building the department”.
“Her belief in DECC from day one – and her dedication to ensuring it lives up to its potential – will stand as a testament to her vision.”
Chancellor George Osborne, in the budget, said he expected gas to be “the largest single source of our electricity in the coming years”.
DECC is expected to outline a gas strategy before the end of the year.