Tag Archives: energy demand

The nuclear option: what Hinkley Point says about UK energy policy

19020034765_a6f2962cca_bEDF’s battle for Hinkley C, a project first put forward a decade ago, has been won. It is a triumph for the political equivalent of siege warfare. Back in 2006, the European Pressurised Reactor was shiny and new, and nuclear power seemed like the cheapest route to a secure, low carbon power system. In 2016, the decision to back Hinkley feels more like an inevitability than a choice: the EPR is a dated design with some big flaws, and innovation in renewables and smart technology makes EDF’s version of nuclear look expensive and hard to deliver. Read more

My proposals for a Greener London: Zac Goldsmith MP

Zac headshot.jpgLast month we launched Greener London with eight other environmental organisations, a set of 20 practical actions for the next mayor that together would make London a greener, fairer and better place to live and work.

In the lead up to the London mayoral election, we are publishing blogs from candidates which will lay out their plans for a Greener London.

Today we hear from Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith MP.

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How cheaper negawatts are made to look more expensive than watts

Negawatts_websiteThis post is by Nic Craig, Green Alliance policy intern, Amy Mount and Dustin Benton

The capacity market, which provides payments to ‘keep the lights on’, is one of the energy policies still surviving after a summer of scrappages and watering down. The bidders for the second auction were announced at the end of last week, and, as before, the list is dominated by carbon heavy power stations: 48 per cent gas plants and 19 per cent coal plants (including Aberthaw, which raises the worrying prospect of public money supporting a power station that’s currently breaking pollution laws). Read more

5 things you should know about government and your energy bill

Energy bills are back in the news, with the Office of Budget Responsibility calculating new figures for the cost of low carbon power, the Competition and Markets Authority investigating energy companies, and both IPPR and Policy Exchange releasing reports in the past few weeks. With so much to debate, and a lot of seemingly conflicting numbers to grasp, here are five things you should know:

1. The levy control framework (LCF) makes up three per cent of the average energy bill.
The claim that government controls a large proportion your energy bill rests mainly on the costs of electricity and gas networks, which make up around 22 per cent of bills. In contrast, efficiency policies, which reduce consumption, and therefore lower bills, make up around three per cent. Low carbon power, covered by the levy control framework, also makes up just under three per cent of the bill. So called ‘policy costs’ are, therefore, mostly due to networks, not low carbon power. Read more

How to make high rise homes fit for the future

Wilmcote house new balconyThis post is by James Traynor, director of architecture at ECD Architects.

Is it right that people live in homes they can’t afford to heat without taking out a loan, and which cause them health problems from excessive humidity and mould? Why is the UK’s housing stock in such poor condition and how can it be improved to meet the needs of both current and future generations? Above all, what are the implications of a failure to act? Read more

Why old tower blocks should be included in new city visions

Block towers in Kennogton Park, London.UK cities have been growing in influence for some years now. This looks set to continue as the devolution debate rumbles on in the wake of the Scottish referendum.

At Green Alliance we’re interested in the potential of cities to add dynamism to the low carbon economy. They are well placed to realise the tangible benefits: through public transport improvements, growing low carbon industries and green jobs, and developing sustainable, liveable communities. Read more

Interconnection is the solution to the energy trilemma

Network development mapThis post is by Paul Arwas who has over 20 years’ experience as a professional consultant, specialising in renewable energy and energy services.  Paul has advised governments on energy policy and some of the leading global energy companies on strategy and technology issues.

No doubt you will have heard about the energy trilemma.  Experts say we can have one or two out of a choice of secure, cheap or low carbon energy, but not all three.

But they are missing an obvious way of securing all three.  Sources of secure, cheap and low carbon energy exist and they are closer to London than Glasgow. These sources lie outside the UK, and because they don’t feature in economists’ models and are outside the ken of many vested interests, they are the Cinderella of energy policy. Read more

Why the UK should champion EU action on energy efficiency

negawatts_WEB_AW-1This post is by Katherine Watts, head of energy at Green Alliance.

Today, EU member states are due to submit their National Energy Efficiency Action Plans (NEEAPs) to the European Commission. Over the next two months the numbers will be crunched to see whether the actions proposed add up to being on track to meet the EU’s 2020 20 per cent energy efficiency target. As the target is not legally binding, expectations aren’t high that member states are giving sufficient priority to achieving their energy efficiency potential. Read more

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