The closing of the feed-in tariff scheme (FiT) in March this year caused dismay, inviting accusations that it was a retrogressive step for an aspiring low carbon economy and unfair to community energy groups. FiTs had underpinned the growth of this sector over the past decade. It was the means by which small scale renewable energy generators, including households, were paid for surplus energy they fed in to the grid. Read more
Category Archives: Low carbon future
This post is by Shea Buckland-Jones, project co-ordinator of Re-energising Wales at the Institute of Welsh Affairs.
The potential benefits of local and community involvement in energy range widely. One report on small and community hydro in Wales suggested that local and community ownership could almost double local economic impact, compared with national, commercial developments. Read more
Imagine a future where you have control over energy. You can make it, store it and sell it from your home, feeding the profits back into your local area. Actually, some people don’t have to imagine it. They’re already doing it and this model could spread, because change is coming. Read more
This post is by Sam Hampton of the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford
There are nearly six million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK, including a wide variety of business types, ranging from fairly large manufacturing companies to small family firms, social enterprises and micro-businesses. Altogether their energy use produces enormous quantities of carbon emissions. Read more
This post is by Nick Robins, professor in practice for sustainable finance at the Grantham Research Institute.
At the UN climate conference last December, 53 countries including the UK, signed the Silesia Declaration fleshing out the commitment to implement the Paris Agreement, by taking into account “the imperatives of a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs”. For the Polish host the case was clear: “considering the social aspect of the transition towards a low carbon economy is crucial for gaining social approval for the changes taking place.”
The need for a strong social dimension to climate policy has also been displayed on the streets of Paris, with the initial protests by the gilets jaunes prompted by an increase in carbon taxes. Read more
This post is by Sarah James, a volunteer and trustee of Westmill Sustainable Energy Trust.
I’ve shown a lot of people around Westmill Wind Farm in Oxfordshire and its neighbouring solar farm. Thousands of people have visited the wind farm for tours and open days in its ten year life, wanting not just to see the wind turbines, but to get up close and touch them, hear them and sometimes even lie under them, watching the blades whirl overhead.
The media and politicians have described onshore wind as controversial and unpopular in the UK. And yet our experience at Westmill is quite the opposite. It is a popular local asset that people like to visit, are curious to understand and view affectionately. Is there some reason that Westmill is unusual? Read more
Reinventing Retrofit was published yesterday by Green Alliance, with support from the Zero Energy Buildings Catalyst (ZEBCat) programme, supported by the European Regional Development Fund.
This blog was first posted by Business Green.
In 2017, buildings were responsible for 22 per cent of the UK’s total carbon emissions, compared to just 19 per cent from electricity supply. With declining coal power generation and the rise in electric vehicles, the climate impact of buildings is becoming increasingly important in the effort to cut carbon emissions. The current housing stock represents 80 per cent of the houses that will be standing in 2050 and retrofitting them to be low carbon will be a major challenge for the future. Read more
The collapse of government talks with Hitachi this week takes almost 3GW of future nuclear capacity off the table. While opinion on nuclear is polarised, the UK had been relying on it to meet long term climate targets. With this week’s announcement, 9GW of proposed nuclear capacity has now been suspended. This leaves an increasing low carbon energy gap which will have to be filled by 2030 to meet legal carbon targets. Read more
This post is by Rebecca Windemer, PhD researcher at Cardiff University.
At the start of my research into wind energy, I met an elderly couple living opposite a wind farm in Cornwall who questioned why people were opposed to them. Read more
2018 was a mixed bag for energy and climate policy. On the plus side, unbeknown to most of its millions of consumers, the UK’s power sector provided a third of the country’s electricity from renewable sources, over twice as much as five years ago. Read more