Crisis what crisis?
According to one of the country's leading experts the UK's energy policy is like a slow motion train crash unfolding before your eyes. In a report published today professor Ian fells accuses successive Governments of sitting on their hands over the last 25 years, and of engaging in wishful thinking about the ability of renewables - like wind and solar power - to bridge the looming energy gap.
On the other hand environmentalists accuse professor Fells of a long term love affair with technological fixes like nuclear power, and of downplaying renewables. The Secretary of State John Hutton says the report both over states the problem and underestimates the efforts Government has already made to plug the gap.
What isn't contested is that we stand to loose 30% of our electricity generating capacity over the next decade as existing nuclear and coal fired power stations are decommissioned. The row is about what's going to replace that generating capacity and how quickly we need it.
So who's right?
Professor Fells' crystal ball offers a vision - nightmare might be a better description - of energy shortages, electricity rationing, and increasing reliance on gas imported from Russia. The Government's view is of a smooth transition to a new generation of nuclear power, clean coal and renewables. Environmentalists are championing energy efficiency and greater investment in wind, wave and solar power.
The issue seems to be how much time we have to develop new technologies like carbon capture and storage (which could clean up our coal and gas fired stations), commission new nuclear power plants, and develop renewables before the lights begin to go out in the middle of the next decade.