Almost all of Britain’s homes and businesses would be powered by wind, solar and nuclear power by 2030, under bold new green energy plans being outlined by Labour. Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, will declare on Tuesday that the party is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by the middle of the century. The UK’s current goal is an 80% cut by 2050. Such a move would put the UK ahead of the EU and signal that it intends to be a strong international climate leader post-Brexit. It would also leapfrog Labour ahead of the Conservatives on climate-change action. The government is shortly expected to instruct its climate advisers to explore what a tougher global-warming goal means for the UK’s domestic carbon targets but has not yet pledged to hit zero emissions. Long-Bailey, who is seen by some as a potential future leader, will also outline a series of new proposals on energy to meet the long-term carbon goal. Experts said they were far more ambitious than the party’s current policy. The plan envisages 85% of electricity coming from renewable and low-carbon sources by 2030, a dramatic increase on the 50% they provide today. That would involve a sevenfold increase in offshore windfarms and a tripling of solar power, enabling nearly 20m homes to be powered by wind and solar. The party would also “remove the barriers” the Conservatives put in place for onshore windfarms. Labour would like to see doubling of onshore windfarms by 2030. Beyond electricity, the party is also grappling with how to keep the UK warm without burning fossil fuels. Around 85% of the country uses gas for heating, with most of the rest coming from oil and a tiny proportion from renewable sources such as heat pumps and biomass. Labour is mulling a goal of providing 44% of heat from renewable sources by 2030 and reducing heat demand from buildings by almost a quarter. The party is expected to officially adopt the energy goals later this year. Jim Watson, director of the UK Energy Research Centre, said: “These proposals are envisaging a much more ambitious approach than current policy. With respect to renewable electricity, particularly wind, the ambitions look achievable by 2030.”
Guardian 24th Sept 2018 read more »
On the eve of today’s Labour Conference in Liverpool, the opposition published a sweeping new environmental manifesto, fleshing out policy proposals from last year’s election and promising to deliver a “transformational effort from government” to boost the green economy and tackle the UK’s “environmental crisis”. Writing in the foreword to the pamphlet, Labour’s Shadow Business and Environment Secretaries, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Sue Hayman, argue that urgent action to address escalating environmental risks are both non-negotiable and entirely in keeping with Labour’s political traditions. The pamphlet, which is titled The Green Transformation: Labour’s Environmental Policy, largely reiterates many of the energy, climate, and environment policies that featured in last year’s manifesto. Most notably it seeks to draw a clear dividing line with the government over key aspects of clean energy policy, promising to emulate France and Germany in banning fracking, approve the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project, and “remove the barriers to onshore wind put in place by the Conservative government”. The commitment effectively confirms Labour would allow onshore wind developers to compete for price support contracts – a move industry insiders claim would drive development and lead to lower bills for households and businesses. However, the document also waters down a previous target to ensure 60 per cent of the UK’s energy, including heat, comes from renewable and low carbon sources by 2030, pledging instead that the target would be met “within 12 years of coming to power”. Depending on the timing of the next election the change could see the deadline slip from 2030 to 2034, although Labour insiders noted the target remains more ambitious than the current government’s goals and argued more time is needed to meet the 60 per cent goal given the slump in renewables investment the Conservatives have overseen in the past two years.
Business Green 24th Sept 2018 read more »
If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 without a deal, find out how this would affect electricity generators and suppliers, installers of certain microgeneration technologies, and renewable energy fuel suppliers and generators, including: guarantees of origin of electricity produced from high-efficiency cogeneration the Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) scheme recognition of certification of installers of certain microgeneration technologies.
BEIS 24th Sept 2018 read more »