Last Wednesday I went to Wales. Not for a typically British summer holiday (although we were all wearing waterproofs), but at the invitation of local campaigners of the United Valleys Action Group on the day Caerphilly County Council decided whether to approve or reject a proposed opencast coal mine at Nant Llesg.
With budgets so tight we need to be very selective about how money is spent. Policies that contradict each other and fail to deliver genuine solutions come at a cost. Rather than handing out subsidies to polluting power stations we should be creating investment and job opportunities in the technologies of the future.
We have heard a lot of comment from anti-coal campaigners in the last several months, especially during the public consultation period for the new energy strategy. Their opinion is important to us, as are opinions of all stakeholders. But presenting the EBRD as the last institution that clings to coal and focuses on fossil fuels is incorrect on many levels.
Whether man-made climate change is occurring or not, there are few who would argue against a move towards low-carbon energy generation. One way or another, carbon emissions must be cut. Forget the tired anti-nuclear rhetoric and the ridiculous claims that a Fukushima-style disaster could hit the UK. Third generation nuclear is the way forward and the new reactors planned at Hinkley Point are the first step in the right direction.
Across the world, the contentious debate over the future of nuclear power continues apace. In East Asia, for instance, it emerged last month that a nuclear plant in Taiwan may have been leaking radio-active water for three years. Meanwhile, Japan is still struggling to contain radio-active water from Fukushima; and in South Korea prosecutors are conducting a huge investigation into forged nuclear safety certificates.
Energy is the most important issue in the world today and it's getting more important every day. We are living through a period of explosive population growth that will see at least another two billion people added to the global population - currently standing at 7.1 billion - over the next 20 years.