Ed Davey, newly appointed Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, was quick to make his mark in his new role when he confirmed his personal commitment to green growth, green jobs and the wider use of wind power technology. "I think that onshore and offshore wind power has a real place in a balanced mix of energy generation so I'm a huge supporter of renewables" he said.
100 Tory back-benchers have tabled a motion calling for a dramatic cut in subsidies for onshore wind farms but Ed is very clear where he stands. "Already we've seen through the subsidies that this government has invested in onshore wind that the price has come down to make onshore more competitive, so we've got money in all sorts of renewables because of the success of these investments.
"There may have been a change at the helm, but there'll be no change in direction or ambition. My priorities are very simple: green jobs, green growth and getting the best deal for energy bill payers."Ed and Nick Clegg were visiting the Building Research Establishment's Innovation Park near Watford, a testing site for green homes, where they met graduates considering moving into green construction jobs. Nick Clegg told them "The race is on to lead the world in clean, green energy. The savviest states understand that going for growth means going green. Low-carbon markets are the next frontier in the battle for global pre-eminence.
"We have every reason to be confident. The combination of enviable wind, wave and tidal power, a world-beating research base and a proud history of engineering give the UK a clear competitive edge. So we're already in pole position. But the reality is: we need to sharpen our elbows if we want to stay ahead." Ed Davey also announced that 155 community energy projects across the country have won a share of £5.1 million of funding from the Local Energy Assessment Fund. The winning bids include projects to demonstrate wall insulation to the public, schemes to check the energy efficiency of homes and events to promote energy efficiency in local communities.
While Ed was getting to grips with his new job, Norfolk North's Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb was taking up his new appointment as Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs in the Department of Business Innovation and Skills. Welcoming him Secretary of State Vince Cable said "Norman's professional background as an employment lawyer and experience as the Liberal Democrat's Trade and Industry Spokesman make him an ideal replacement. He pioneered our policy to privatise Royal Mail and establish employee share ownership in the business so it is fitting that he will be responsible for implementing that policy."
Norman, who was previously chief political adviser to Nick Clegg, expressed himself particularly delighted to be implementing the Post Office reforms he had pioneered in opposition. These would give employees a stake in the company.
Two other new appointments were announced in the mini-reshuffle. Cardiff Central MP Jenny Willott becomes an Assistant Government Whip and Dunbartonshire East's MP Jo Swinson becomes PPS to Nick Clegg.