Renewables and nuclear power are no substitute for carbon capture and storage (CCS), if global warming is to be kept below two degrees Celsius, an Oxford climate scientist has warned. In a research paper, Oxford University professor of geosystem science Myles Allen said meeting the legally binding target of keeping global warming below 2C will require “truly heroic levels of self-sacrifice” by future generations unless the cost of CCS can be brought below $200/tonne (£142/tonne). Measures to reduce emissions, such as building low-carbon generation, will gradually become less cost-effective over time as cheaper and easier solutions are implemented, Allen argued, meaning “backstop” measures like CCS will become more economic.
Utility Week 7th April 2016 read more »
I would have thought that, with all the rhetoric surrounding the outcome of the Paris climate change summit in December, there might have been rather more ‘getting on with it’ measures in the Budget. As it was, under the box marked ‘energy’ we were treated to the abolition of the Carbon Reduction Commitment, and some compensatory tinkering with the Climate Change Levy, a pledge to enhance interconnection levels, albeit at no cost to Treasury UK, and a commitment to allocate £780m to support offshore wind and ‘less established renewables’ over the next period of the Levy Control Framework (LCF). Policy Exchange has tried to work out where the LCF will stand by 2020 – and they suggest that, whilst the cuts to onshore wind and solar might have pushed it below the 20 per cent ‘headroom’ level above the £7.6bn allocated for it by 2020, it is still ‘overspent’ by about £1.2bn – a sum that, on present definitions, DECC will have to ‘claw back’ within future limits that are as yet unset. how much offshore wind would these auctions up to 2020 procure for delivery in the early part of the next decade? RenewableUK’s estimate, immediately after the Budget, is that the sum might account for about 3.5GW of installed wind between, say, 2021 and 2025. Mind you, this estimate is based, it seems, on the assumption that all the remaining LCF levy funding will go to support offshore wind, and not some of the other ‘less-established renewables’ mentioned in the Budget Red Book (how, for example, Swansea Bay or indeed any tidal energy might be fitted into the framework remains unclear). However, it does give us a clue as to what is still supposedly out there for the LCF to accommodate in the 2020s if we ever get to hear what the next LCF framework level is actually going to be, which I have to say would have been useful and comforting to hear in this Budget.
Alan Whitehead 7th April 2016 read more »
The Political Economy of Energy Transitions in Germany and Britain. Presentation by Caroline Kuzemko.
IGov 7th April 2016 read more »