Renewables provided a record 37.1% of the UK’s electricity last year, and prospects for continued growth look good, with renewables taking over in many sectors, but there will also be a need to push carbon-based energy out of even more markets. An independent ‘Zero Carbon Commission’ was set up in February 2020 to review the UK emissions pricing landscape, and explore how it might be re-designed to be consistent with the UK’s ‘net zero’ carbon target. Members include Lord Adair Turner, UCL Prof. Paul Ekins and Baroness Bryony Worthington. In an interim report, based on an initial review and public opinion survey, the Commission propose ‘a phased, sectoral approach to carbon charging to help fund a fair, green transition towards net zero’. It says that, under this plan, ‘by 2025, there would be a simple carbon charge of £55/tCOe (carbon dioxide and equivalents) on greenhouse gas emissions across much of the economy, rising to £75/tCOe by 2030’ although ‘surface transport would continue to be covered by existing price signals, which are expected to be strong enough when supported by other policy levers.’ We may see some action on this suggested in the long awaited Energy White Paper, which Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth at BEIS, says will be out ‘later this year’. He told the online meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Net Zero Group that he regretted that the White Paper had not been published as planned last summer, but said now the Covid-19 slowdown placed even more focus on the importance of an economic recovery that was ‘clean and resilient’, with green power ‘front and central’.
Renew Extra 26th Sept 2020 read more »
Sir Nicholas Soames: In his UN speech the prime minister highlighted several important policies: expanding wind and solar, encouraging uptake in electric vehicles and supporting improved energy efficiency in the home. In true Boris style, the enthusiasm shone through, with talk of wanting to “build back greener” as we recover from the Covid crisis and spark a new “green industrial revolution”. But despite his quip that Britain “will never be lagging on lagging”, the truth is that we are lagging — yes, on home insulation targets, but more importantly on carbon-cutting generally and on the high-level diplomacy that can unite our international partners on an ambitious course. If the government is serious about Global Britain, a climate summit is the moment to prove it. After all, this will be one of the biggest and most significant diplomatic events to be held on British shores and a chance for the UK to show that it is still a heavyweight.