This post is by Paul Nowak, deputy general secretary of the TUC.
Climate change is the biggest challenge facing the planet. But, for many working people, it can seem a remote issue; one not directly related to their everyday lives. That’s why the TUC is keen to draw the links between tackling climate change and some of the other major themes of our campaign work: rebalancing our economy; investing in the UK’s physical and social infrastructure; and ensuring working people are not asked to pay the price for Brexit.
Forget the cuts to the RHI. Ignore halving ECO. The biggest change to the UK’s energy strategy didn’t appear in yesterday’s autumn statement. Instead, a two line note snuck out an hour or so after George Osborne finished his speech confirmed that carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the UK is effectively dead. Read more
The case for carbon capture and storage (CCS) is increasingly confused. The IPCC suggests CCS makes quick, low cost decarbonisation much more feasible, and the prime minister recently declared the technology “absolutely crucial.” But a recent UCL study found that CCS makes little difference to the proportion of fossil reserves that cannot be burned. Less than a quarter of people support CCS in the UK, compared to the 80 per cent supporting renewables, and activists led anti-CCS protests at the recent Lima climate conference because they fear it will be used as a smokescreen for additional unabated fossil fuel use. Read more
This post first appeared on Guardian Sustainable Business.
Such was the shock of the oil price’s precipitous decline in recent months that tongues were set swiftly wagging about what the explanation could be. Killing off electric vehicles, US shale producers, or Iran’s and Russia’s economies, were all put forward as the real reason behind OPEC’s public explanation that keeping the taps open and so depressing prices is about protecting market share. Read more
This is a guest post by Professor Stuart Haszeldine, professor of carbon capture and storage at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Geosciences
The small ugly duckling wanders around the Brussels farmyard. Surrounding the farmyard are tall white windmills spinning slowly in the breeze. On the roof of the farmhouse gleam purple-white solar panels. And a little further away sits the stainless steel work of a geothermal borehole.
You don’t have to look far beyond the farmyard, however, to see some intruders into this low carbon landscape: the tall slim flue from a 1600 MW coal power plant, and the chimney from a new gas plant.
Europe has progressed greatly on building renewable energy generation. However, as the International Energy Agency reminded us in April, the continent is burning more coal than ever before, closely followed by a rising gas bubble of consumption. Read more
This post is by Dustin Benton, senior policy adviser at Green Alliance and author of our recent policy insight The CCS challenge: securing a second chance for UK carbon capture and storage.
Recent announcements on carbon capture and storage have made it clear that it is make or break time for the technology. CCS is controversial. Its detractors point out that it doesn’t deal with the problems of resource extraction, and may only buy us a few more decades of fossil fuel power generation. But its potential to enable rapid reductions in CO2 emissions, from the power sector and industrial emitters both in the UK and abroad, mean that we, at least, should establish whether or not CCS is possible. The starting point for doing this in the UK is a publicly funded, multibillion pound demonstration programme, which was relaunched a few weeks ago. Read more
This post is by Dustin Benton, senior policy adviser at Green Alliance. A version of this article originally appeared on the Guardian website.
Carbon capture and storage promises all the ease of continued use of fossil fuels without the carbon emissions. The UK should be a leader in its development. It has all the advantages of good geology, industry expertise, and public support, but as the National Audit Office reported two weeks ago, our demonstration programme has been plagued by delays, putting the whole programme back by half a decade. This has happened because the policy supporting CCS is based on outdated assumptions. Read more