The government may need to delay the publication of the UK’s new carbon plan until early next year, Bloomberg has reported. Climate change minister Nick Hurd said he is reviewing the country’s progress and doesn’t want to release the plan prematurely. The document will outline how the government intends go about meeting the fifth carbon budget which it agreed to in June. The budget commits the UK to reducing its carbon emissions by an average 57 per cent on 1990 levels during the period 2028-2032.
Utility Week 7th Sept 2016 read more »
Business and energy secretary Greg Clark needs to “reset the balance between the market and the state” and avoid “more patching up of what he has inherited”, Dieter Helm has said. The energy sector is “not in good shape,” and is unable to fulfil the needs of a major industrial economy, “especially for one doing Brexit”. Growing electricity demand, as heat and energy are electrified, will make the “current capacity margin of roughly zero even more alarming than it is now”, the Oxford economist said in a paper. Whilst demand side measures are appealing in the short term, “they don’t make a lot of sense for country aspiring to world competitive advantage”. The planned phase-out of coal-fired power stations, the diminishing lifespan of the existing nuclear fleet, and the repeated delays to new nuclear mean the problems faced by the new energy secretary are “all about to get worse – much worse”. Helm criticized implementation energy policy in recent years, saying politicians had made a series of market inventions which had resulted in unintended consequences: “Onshore wind has had to be capped; offshore wind propped up; nuclear has required a special deal; and now gas needed a capacity market.” He described the present situation as “a lobbyist’s paradise”. Britain has now “comprehensively re-nationalised its energy policy” according to Helm: “In many respects, Greg Clark as much control as the Central Electricity Generating Board once had.” The current subsidy regime is not, as the government claims, technologically neutral. If it was, there would be “no offshore wind, and no Hinkley.”
Utility Week 7th Sept 2016 read more »
Jeremy Corbyn has announced a bold new set of policies which will pioneer a democratic, community-led system of energy supply. Over the course of the next parliament, we will use public investment and legislation to promote the creation of over 200 local energy companies, giving towns, cities and localities the powers they need to drive a clean, locally accountable energy system with public, not-for-profit companies. At the heart of this policy will be a new generation of community energy co-operatives. We will create 1,000 of these co-operatives with the support of a network of regional development banks, and legislate to give them the right to sell energy directly to the communities they serve. At the same time as building a new publicly run, locally accountable energy system, we will invest in the high quality homes and insulation needed to make Britain environmentally sustainable. We will create a National Home Insulation programme to insulate at least 4m homes to energy efficiency standard B or C. In the private rented sector, we will set compulsory standards at the same level and end the misery of cold rented accommodation. This would save millions of people money on their bills as well as saving energy that is currently wasted on poorly insulated homes. Scotland is already on course to generate 100% of its electricity from renewables, and Britain has an ample supply of wind and water. In government, I will commit to generating 65% of Britain’s electricity from these sources by 2030. All of these measures will create secure, skilled employment for hundreds of thousands of people. As part of our transition to a low-carbon economy, we estimate that we will create 316,000 jobs in wind, solar and wave power. We will use a £500bn national investment programme, with a National Investment Bank and a network of regional development banks, to ensure that these jobs and opportunities are created in places where they are most needed – in coastal towns and areas with high unemployment.
Guardian 7th Sept 2016 read more »
Increasing renewables in the electricity mix to a 65% share represents quite a jump on current levels. In the first quarter of 2016, renewables accounted for 25.1% of the UK’s electricity generation, according to government figures. Corbyn says the renewable electricity in 2030 will be sourced from a combination of onshore and offshore wind, tidal power, solar and a small amount of other renewables. His document includes the following breakdown of the 65% renewables element of the electricity mix in 2030
Carbon Brief 8th Sept 2016 read more »