This post first appeared on BusinessGreen.
At 11am, on 14 July 2017, eight per cent of UK’s total electricity demand was generated by offshore wind, more than any other country in the world. Proactive policy and industrial innovation have crafted the UK’s success story on offshore wind but another significant part of the story has been the lending from the European Investment Bank (EIB) that has accelerated the sector’s growth. Roughly £2.6 billion has been invested in wind farms and transmission networks since 2012, part of an overall £8 billion investment in energy infrastructure in the UK. As we leave the EU, cheap EIB loans will not flow as easily, raising concerns about the future growth of our renewable energy industry. It is, therefore, critical that we negotiate to be a major shareholder and benefactor of the EIB and the other European investment bodies that support innovation and growth in low carbon technology. Read more
The government’s smart power strategy, Upgrading our energy system, unveiled yesterday, is the ultimate under the radar approach. It contains 29 deeply technocratic changes (such as “developing a Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) modification, P344”), which are combined seamlessly with the neutered language of “removing barriers” and “making markets work”. It looks boring. But don’t be fooled: if it works, this strategy will deliver radical change. But this is a big if. Read more
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has warned in its latest annual progress report that the UK is significantly behind its 2030 targets to reduce carbon emissions and, without additional policy and new strategies, we will fail to meet our legally binding commitments. Here are five highlights worth drawing out from the report:
This post is by Chaitanya Kumar, senior policy adviser on energy at Green Alliance.
A recent article in the Spectator, by Matt Ridley, has challenged the importance of wind energy in the national and global energy mix, dismissing it as irrelevant and saying that it causes greater environmental damage than we are willing to acknowledge. Read more
This post is by Neal Mehta, managing consultant in the energy and climate team at ICF
For the past five months, colleagues and I have worked on a project for the UK government that was ultimately trying to answer the question: how is the UK best placed to contribute to, and benefit from, the global low carbon transition? Read more
Small scale technologies are shaking up the existing energy paradigm, where the only consumer choice is to decide which big and distant power company to buy from. This ignores rapid developments in solar panels, onshore wind, electric vehicles (EVs) and battery storage. People are increasingly choosing to be energy owners, and are able to take back at least some control over energy production. Read more
This post is by Jenny Bird, Dr Florian Kern, Dr Paula Kivimaa and Dr Karoline Rogge from the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand.
Prior to the era of Donald Trump, tweeting was an unusual way to make a government announcement. But a tweet from the UK team at the 2014 UN climate summit in New York declared David Cameron’s intention to “phase out existing coal over the next 10-15 years”. Read more
This year the spring budget comes at an odd time for all things low carbon in the UK. In February, the government published its industrial strategy, setting out its clean growth aims as part of Theresa May’s flagship domestic economic policy. By the beginning of the summer, the government will produce a ‘clean growth’ plan, outlining how the UK will meet its fourth and fifth carbon budgets (covering 2023-32).
This post is by Jonathan Gaventa, director of E3G.
The UK has made significant progress in clean energy and emissions reductions in recent years, with greenhouse gas emissions now 38 per cent below 1990 levels. But Brexit raises questions about how this progress will be continued.
In principle, it should be both possible and desirable for the UK to emerge from the Brexit process with just as strong a position on climate and clean energy as before.
This post is by Paul Brockway, research fellow at the University of Leeds. He examines roles and relationships between energy, economy and society as part of UKERC’s research programme.
Energy efficiency is often seen as a win-win: falling energy use benefits consumers and the environment, whilst it also allows the economy to grow. However, our recent research into energy rebound or ‘take back’ (when energy efficiency can be cancelled out by changes in people’s behaviour) suggests it may hamper the effectiveness of policy aimed at reducing energy use and its associated carbon emissions. Read more