Armitt says UK nuclear is on hold until funding model is clear. It is “impossible to see” how new nuclear power stations will be developed in the UK until a framework for financing them is in place, National Infrastructure Sir John Armitt has warned.
Utility Week 24th Sept 2020 read more »
Boris Johnson has signalled he is keen for the UK to make a “big bet” on wind power, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS) as part of the government’s strategy for building a net zero economy by 2050, as he urged global government to step up their climate efforts ahead of COP26. Speaking ahead of a raft of world leaders during a virtual UN climate action roundtable yesterday, the Prime Minister once again trumpeted his enthusiasm for cutting edge clean technologies, as he reiterated his hope of delivering a green recovery from the Covid-19 crisis. Building back greener was “the name of the game” for the UK, he said, as he touted a “green industrial revolution” as the solution to both the climate crisis and the economic fallout from the pandemic, a pathway he said could create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the UK. It comes amid increasing pressure for the government to set out its net zero plans across a range of challenging areas of the economy, including heating, energy, transport and infrastructure, and Johnson today stoked hopes that a host of critical net zero policy papers could finally emerge before the end of 2020. The PM is also expected to make climate change a feature of his speech during the UN General Assembly this weekend, while recent reports have suggested he is gearing up to announced a number of new domestic climate efforts this autumn.
Business Green 25th Sept 2020 read more »
[There is] a fraud at the heart of the government’s pledge for net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The clue is in the word “net”. “Gross zero” means the UK no longer releases any greenhouse gases. “Net zero” means we can still burn carbon so long as we remove an equivalent amount. It’s a perfectly reasonable assumption but the volumes involved are not. Last year’s Committee on Climate Change report, the inspiration for the government’s “net zero” legislation, said that the UK would need to clean 175 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent from the air every year on top of about 300 million tonnes of emissions reductions, from 2017 levels. For context, Britain produced 435 million tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2019. Hydrogen should play a big role in the UK’s zero carbon future, the report added, but it would be a particularly intensive user of this “carbon capture and storage” (CCS) technology because the only economically feasible way of creating it is by burning natural gas. The hitch here, and it’s a big one, is that CCS technology barely exists. In fact, as the Committee on Climate Change said last year, the UK “is yet to get started” and “global progress has been slow”. According to the Global CCS Institute, the world’s total capacity for capture and storage was 40 million tonnes last year, including “projects under construction”. That means Britain alone, which accounts for 2-3 per cent of human-induced global warming to date, needs four and a half times existing global CCS capacity to reach its goal. Right now, it’s a fantasy and one perpetuated by every signatory to the 2015 Paris accords. Each commitment is based on technology that does not exist today. The public finances equivalent might be promising to halve the national debt in a decade by delivering 10 per cent GDP growth a year. If the chancellor tried that, he’d be laughed out of the chamber.
Times 26th Sept 2020 read more »