Renew On Line (UK) 54

Extracts from NATTA's journal
, issue 154 Mar-Apr2005

   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1. A new UK Climate Plan

2. Green Heat and Biofuels

3. Local support for Tidal power

4. Wind rush- and wind problems

5. Micro power push: PV and micro-CHP

6. Clean-coal ‘better than wind’

7. Industrial ups and downs

8. Grid Connection Charges

9. £80m for Innovation

10. Efficiency Drives

11. World news: Kyoto goes live

12. World Renewables Round up

13. Nuclear Power- more or less?

1. A new UK Climate Plan


The Government has launched an ‘extensive and open’ consultation on its review of the UK Climate Change Programme, focussing on opportunities to further reduce carbon emissions, including:

* The EU Emissions Trading Scheme: (EU-ETS) the first phase, runs until 2007, covering around 46% of UK carbon dioxide emissions. The Government is now looking beyond 2007 to consider our approach to the second phase of the scheme, from 2008-2012, so that it can ‘give clarity on the way forward’.

* Energy Efficiency: A range of measures to stimulate take-up of energy efficiency measures in households has already been introduced, which include regulatory and incentive-based policies, grants and other economic incentives, and providing information and advice. The pre-budget report also included a £20m package of measures to accelerate the development of energy efficient technology to help the UK move to a low carbon economy (see later).

* Biomass: The Government says it would like to see ‘a rise in the production of biomass, which will not only help meet renewable energy targets but also boost farming, forestry and the rural economy’.  Sir Ben Gill, former NFU president, will report back soon, on the findings of his taskforce, that is looking at optimising the contribution of biomass to climate change (see Renew 153).

* Transport: The Government says it is committed to ‘sustained investment in public transport, providing the public with more environmentally friendly travel choices and to encouraging its use through, for example, workplace travel plans and promoting alternatives to the school run’.  It is also seeking ‘the inclusion of intra-EU aviation in the EU-ETS’. And it is ‘considering the feasibility of road-pricing, as well as the scope for including surface transport into a phase of the EU ETS’.

* Biofuels: The government says that ‘cleaner fuels, such as biofuels, and cleaner vehicle technologies, are being encouraged’ but not everyone sees it that way- see later- so there will be plenty of feedback on this issue as well as the others.

This is an important review- it addresses a lot of key issues and the new Climate Plan will shape many aspects of government policy in the years ahead.  The government organised a series of regional and sectoral meetings with these sectors during the 12-week consultation period, which ended on March 2nd. Margaret Beckett, DEFRA Secretary, said “It is vitally important that we engage during the review period with all stakeholders, representing business and industry from all economic sectors, including transport, as well as the public sector, so that we can work together towards achieving our long-term goals”.     

 The consultation paper is at:

Setting the scene for the review in terms of policy on and support for renewables, answering a Parliamentary Question in Dec., Energy Minister Mike O’Brien pointed out that the Renewables Obligation for the 2004-05 period is 4.9% and that it was ‘supported by around £500 million of spending between 2002-08 to help develop emerging technologies. This will take the form of spending on R&D and funding for capital grants. This includes among other things grants of £117m for offshore wind, over £60m for energy crops and biomass, £31m for PV and £12.5 m for community schemes. In August 2004 it was announced that a special £50m Marine Renewables Development Fund would be set up to help bridge the funding gap between pre-commercial and supported commercial technologies’  He added ‘Renewable energy is also exempt from the Climate Change Levy (a tax on non-domestic energy use disaggregated by fuel type). For renewably generated electricity this adds £4.3/MWh of support.’

UK will miss target…

One reason for the new review was because, though the Kyoto target of a 12.5% cut should be met, it was now admitted that the UK was unlikely to meet the voluntary  target it had set itself of reducing C02 emissions by 20% by 2010.

DEFRA plan

In parallel with the Climate Change consultation (see left), the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), published its five year strategy setting out new initiatives and additional funding to achieve it, building on the Energy Efficiency Action Plan published in April 2004. High on the list of priorities were:

* Continue the £50m Community Energy Programme, which delivers heat networks to reduce energy bills, tackles fuel poverty, reduces carbon emissions, and supports CHP, and the programme will continue for at least the next three years, to March 2008, with additional funding of £10m available once the original allocation of £50m is exhausted.

* Undertake a high level Energy Efficiency Innovation Review into whether technological, policy, financial and behavioural innovation, by Government, industry or consumers, is contributing fully to energy efficiency measures, as announced by the Chancellor in the Pre-Budget Report. The Chancellor also announced £20m to accelerate the development of energy efficient technology. The new funds, will provide a focus for public and private investment in energy efficiency, and will help to build new partnerships between experts from business, research and policy-making.

* Improve Climate Change Communications.  Defra expects to contribute substantial new resources over the period 2005-08 to raise awareness and change public attitudes on climate change.

* Improve social housing: ensuring public funded programmes make a contribution to reducing carbon emissions and tackling fuel poverty. Defra, working with ODPM, DTI and industry is playing a role in the development of the Sustainable Buildings Code.

* Advise and support individuals, businesses and the public sector through the activities of the Carbon Trust and the Energy Saving Trust. Defra has allocated an additional £10m for the Energy Savings Trust, in addition to £60m announced in SR04 for the Carbon Trust.

‘Energy Efficiency: The Government’s Plan for Action’  published last April, set out a detailed implementation plan aiming to save over 12 million tonnes of carbon per year by 2010- more than half the UK’s overall carbon saving target for 2010. DEFRA says ‘this is 20% more than we thought was possible at the time of the White Paper and will save businesses and households over £3 billion per year on their energy bills’.  Key measures in the Action Plan included regulatory and incentive-based policies; grants and other economic incentives; and providing information and advice.

For example, it outlined the intention to double the level of Energy Efficiency Commitment activity from 2005 to 2011, subject to a review in 2007; improve the energy standards of buildings through revisions to the Building Regulations.

New Guide for Planners

To help local councils, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has produced ‘Planning for Renewable Energy’, a comprehensive guide to accompany Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 22. It looks at ‘best practice’, what makes a ‘good’ renewable energy application, how to assess the impact of plans on the landscape and how to give the community greater involvement.

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