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
Tag Archives: Energy
Not all of the ten ‘pillars’ of the industrial strategy green paper will make it into the white paper expected by the end of this year. Civil servants working on the final strategy say the innovation, skills, place, business and infrastructure pillars are the ones likely to remain and the content of the affordable energy and clean growth pillar will be embedded across the strategy. If that can be done well it will better than having a standalone chapter, but if it is done badly, it will be a disaster for the UK’s low carbon transition.
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.
After a summer of wiping the slate clean, the one remaining certainty about the government’s attitude to UK energy policy is that it is committed to minimising cost. This was the aim behind last week’s Big Energy Saving Week, the core ‘switch and save’ message being that customers can save money by switching suppliers. This was odd, given that switching has nothing to do with saving energy.
This post first appeared on the New Statesman blog.
Among the many extravagant claims made by supporters of fracking, perhaps the most absurd is that it will lead to a renaissance in British manufacturing. George Osborne picked up this theme last week when he argued that cheap energy was leading manufacturers to return to the US and he wanted to see this happen in Britain. Read more
This post by Robin Webster was first published on The Carbon Brief
The UK’s dependence on energy imports has increased to its highest level since 1976, according to statistics released by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Here’s the story of the UK’s dependence on imported fuels in eight graphs.
DECC released the data at the end of March, about a month after the chief executive of energy regulator Ofgem warned that the country’s dependence on imported fuels could drive up consumer energy bills. 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
This is a guest post by Prashant Vaze, Chief Economist of Consumer Focus and author of ‘Repowering Communities’ and the ‘Economical Environmentalist’.
How many airlines can say they have induced most of their customers to check in on-line, print off all their paperwork, board punctually, and curtail the holiday-goers natural inclination to pack their kitchen sink? This exemplar boot camp of behaviour change is also regarded, at least by its own estimation, as the country’s most popular airline.
As an environmentalist, albeit an economical one, it gives me little pleasure to reveal Ryanair as the firm. But the company gets the basics right. The planes are rarely late, its megaphone PR is clear in setting out its no-frills stall and its website is actually surprisingly clear about its nitpicking charges. And though its chief executive is rude its staff are friendly.
Policy wonks like nothing better than pulling policy levers to deploy sustainable energy technologies. But policy and technology cannot by themselves deliver sustainable energy use. The missing piece from the jig-saw is people: without people’s acquiescence no democratic politician will enact the new law, and new technologies will be poorly implemented. Read more