Britain’s automotive industry faces a moment of reckoning. Brexit threatens to disrupt its highly sophisticated ‘just in time’ operations while pressure to cut air pollution and go electric risks stranding investment in factories designed for the fossil fuel age. Read more
Category Archives: Low carbon energy
This post is by Martin Siegert, co-director of the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London. He reflects on a decade of research and education in climate change and the environment as the institute celebrates its tenth anniversary.
With a climate sceptic in the White House, record sea ice loss and atmospheric carbon dioxide at levels not seen for 3.5 million years, it is easy to feel that attempts to curtail climate change and safeguard the environment have failed. However, reflecting on the past decade, it’s clear that we have come a long way in that time.
As a policy assistant at Green Alliance, and a woman in her mid-twenties starting my career in energy, I am usually in the minority at meetings. My experience so far of the energy sector is that men are nearly always over-representated at meetings and panels, unless the organisers have made a conscious effort to include female speakers and panellists. And some attempts at increasing female representation are less than wholehearted; ‘pinkwashing’, where a woman chairs an all-male panel instead of speaking, is still common.
This post was first published by Bright Blue.
British car manufacturing history is dominated by iconic vehicles like the original Mini and the Jaguar E-type. Both are recognised and associated with British manufacturing across the world. The only electric vehicle (EV) produced in the UK is the Nissan Leaf, not a brand high on the list of cars people know Britain makes. Nor do people see the UK as a leader in the EV revolution, that credit goes to California, the birth place of Elon Musk’s Tesla. Read more
It isn’t a good time to be a private provider of public services. So far, 2018 has seen the collapse of Carillion; the government intervening on the east coast mainline franchise due to imminent failure; and a public debate on the negatives of private finance initiatives. As such, it is understandable that coverage of Jeremy Corbyn’s speech earlier this month focused so much on the nationalisation of the UK’s energy providers and the national grid. Or, as he put it, not 20th century nationalisation, but 21st century public ownership. Read more
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) today published its analysis of the Clean Growth Strategy (CGS), the government’s blueprint for meeting the targets it is legally bound to achieve under the Climate Change Act.
The analysis highlights a worrying gap (of 10-65 MTCO2e) between the government’s existing policies and commitments and the requirements set under the fourth and fifth carbon budgets. To bridge this gap and minimise delivery risks, the CCC says, the government must urgently firm up the policies, proposals and intentions laid out in the Clean Growth
On 13 November, we invited the EU’s former director general of DG Energy, Sir Philip Lowe, to speak to a small specialist audience about the likely impacts of Brexit on energy and climate policy. Sir Philip, who was in post from 2010 to 2014, is well qualified to comment: he has deep expertise across key EU institutions and is currently chair of the World Energy Council’s energy trilemma initiative. The meeting sparked interesting conversations, including around Sir Philip’s recent publication, Brexit and energy. This post reports the main insights from our discussion. Read more
This post is by Jonathan Bosch, research postgraduate at the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London.
The internal electricity market (IEM) is one of the major achievements of the European single market, allowing electricity to be traded and transmitted seamlessly across national borders. The UK has played a crucial role in the IEM’s development, working with EU energy regulatory agencies to help achieve ‘market coupling’, whereby power station operation and interconnection capacity are allocated simultaneously to achieve more efficient outcomes. The IEM relies on the physical interconnection infrastructure across the continent, and current plans see an expansion of interconnection between the UK and the European mainland in the coming years.
The results of the yesterday’s government auction for renewables procurement has taken the entire energy sector by surprise. Clearing 860 MW at £75/MWh in 2021 and 2.3 GW at £57/MWh in 2022, it revealed that the cost of offshore wind has dropped by 65 per cent in under five years. This result comes close on the heels of a report from Renewable UK, highlighting that the UK’s offshore wind industry has now increased its domestic content to 48 per cent and is in the process is providing almost 20,000 direct and indirect jobs. Heavy investment during the industry’s nascent years has yielded tremendous results and the UK can confidently stake its claim to be the global leader in offshore wind.
This post is by Sam Hall, senior researcher at Bright Blue and author of Green conservatives? Understanding what conservatives think about the environment
From the great housebuilding programme of Harold MacMillan in the 1950s to Anthony Eden’s and Margaret Thatcher’s championing of a property owning democracy, conservatives intuitively value the home. It embodies and animates central conservative ideas of personal responsibility, family and aspiration.
Home energy improvements should be a natural fit for this vision. After all, they are a renovation that adds value to a property, increases its comfort levels and reduces its running costs. And attractive and innovative consumer products like solar photovoltaics, smart meters and battery storage enable households to take responsibility for their home’s energy and environmental impact.