Good progress in decarbonising electricity will not compensate for slow progress on heat and backwards progress on transport, says the committee’s report. The UK is currently not even halfway towards its heating target, and progress towards its transport target actually reversed between 2014 and 2015, with the proportion falling from 4.93% to 4.23%. The think tank Policy Exchange has also issued a report today on renewable heat. It reaches a similar conclusion about the unsatisfactory level of reliance on heat pumps when it comes to decarbonisation. The government’s renewable heat strategy, developed in 2012 and 2013 by the now defunct Department of Energy and Climate Change, relies on this technology to provide more than 80% of domestic heating by 2050. Instead, this report recommends that the government focuses on energy efficiency, decarbonising gas use, and greener gases, such as biomethane, to reduce emissions from heating in the long term.
Carbon Brief 9th Sept 2016 read more »
Britain is set to miss its target to provide 15 per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020, MPs have warned. A report released by the energy and climate change committee says that Britain is dragging its heels in two key policy areas: the transition to greener forms of heating and transportation fuels. British households and businesses remain overwhelmingly dependent on burning gas to heat homes and offices, the report said. Currently, less than 6 per cent of UK heating comes from renewable sources, such as woodchip-fired boilers. That is less than half of the nation’s target to raise this to 12 per cent by 2020. The proportion of renewable energy used in transport fuels actually fell slightly last year as motorists continue to rely heavily on fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel. Angus MacNeil, chairman of the energy and climate change committee, said: “The experts we spoke to were clear – the UK will miss its 2020 renewable energy targets without major policy improvements. Failing to meet these would damage the UK’s reputation for climate change leadership. The government must take urgent action on heat and transport.” Progress on greening the nation’s electricity supply has been better, following construction of a string of windfarms and the closure of coal-fired power stations.
Times 9th Sept 2016 read more »
Guardian 9th Sept 2016 read more »