Renew On Line (UK) 68

Extracts from NATTA's journal
Renew, Issue 168 July-Aug 2007
   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1. Energy White Paper - and Planning White paper

2. LCBP Household Woes- micropower issues

3. Wave & tidal projects - and the Marine Bill

4. Budget and Climate Bill Reactions

5. Biofuel progress- ban them?

6. The Greening of Brown- and Hain

7. BG goes beyond gas

8. World developments- IPCC latest

9. Around the EU- Dutch, Danes,talians Germans all at it

10. US news -New US plans

11. Nuclear Developments -Australia, China, UK

6. The Greening of Brown?

In his speech to the Green Alliance conference last March, which co-incided with the launch of the governments Climate Bill (see Renew 167), and prefigured his 2007 budget, Gordon Brown spelt out his ideas for cutting emissions: ‘In the last Pre-Budget Report, I announced that within ten years all new homes would have to be zero carbon, and I provided a stamp duty exemption as an incentive to get there. But new homes are only a small percentage of the total. So today I want to extend our ambition to all homes. Over the next decade my aim is that every home for which it is practically possible will become low carbon.’

He went on ‘A decade ago, by requiring energy efficiency labels on white goods- dishwashers, washing machines, fridges and freezers- we gave consumers the right to know and thereby drove consumer demand for efficient appliances which in just a few years ensured that there was no demand for the less efficient at all and they ceased to be sold. Now I believe, much more radically, we can do the same for homes. By giving consumers the right to know we can create a market demand for energy efficient homes which will transform the way we use energy. By ensuring that every householder has the best and simplest advice on the measures they can take, from insulation to microgeneration; by rolling out the use of smart meters and visual display units that enable consumers to see how much energy they are consuming and thereby take personal control of their own energy reduction; and by introducing Energy Performance Certificates which will give every home an energy efficiency rating.’

He explained that the government would thus ‘help every householder see how by installing energy saving measures they can both save money and improve the value of their home’. He added ‘I foresee new markets opening up: energy suppliers who will make more money from selling efficiency measures than by selling more electricity and gas; banks and building societies who will create special green mortgages and loans to help finance improvements in the energy rating of their customers’ homes; firms innovating to design and sell new and cheaper low energy equipment. And eventually, I expect the market to value an energy efficient home more highly than an inefficient one. Just as today no one wishes to purchase an inefficient fridge, so in the same way I believe people will be no longer wish to buy an energy efficient home.’

He also announced specific action for taking this transformation forward: ‘First, we will increase the number of homes cost-effectively insulated every year until every home has been done, with financial help available for all, and installations free for those on low incomes. By next year our Energy Efficiency Commitment and Warm Front Programmes will have insulated 2 million homes, and we are also now providing free central heating to pensioners on pension credit. Over the next ten years our aim is to ensure that the remaining 8 million are done, saving 2 million tonnes of carbon every year and an average of £160 off a household bill. Second, I can announce that, while the EU agreed last week to establish new European legislation on light bulbs by 2009, we will already be taking action. After talks over recent weeks with leading manufacturers and retailers, the UK will be the first European country to phase out high energy GLS lightbulbs from almost all domestic use. We will complete this by 2011- saving a further 1.2 million tonnes of carbon and around £30 off an average energy bill. And I will examine how we can provide special help to pensioners to enable this transformation. Third, I am calling on the EU today to speed up the setting of new energy efficiency standards for consumer electronic goods and to permit lower rates of VAT on energy efficient goods. But again by working with retailers we will do this first in Britain, designing out the use of wasteful standby facilities and raising energy efficiency. This will save a further 1.7 million tonnes of carbon, and £45 off a household bill. Fourth, I expect microgeneration- such as solar water heating, micro wind turbines and ground source heat pumps- to take off in this new era. So in the Energy White Paper we will provide new incentives with the aim of raising eightfold the number of households which are producers as well as consumers of energy.’ He concluded ‘this package of measures will save not just 5 million tonnes of carbon, but up to £230 a year- £4.40 a week- from a typical household energy bill’.

Greener Hain?

Peter Hain MP told a recent SERA meeting that ‘Some parts of the Energy White Paper, like the new generation of nuclear power stations, are controversial- particularly among people like me who care passionately about the environment. I’ve never made any secret of my scepticism about nuclear, and it is by no means certain that anyone will want to build one in Britain. But government has a responsibility to keep the lights on, and the choices we face now are the result of the failure over many decades to invest adequately in green energy. Now we must do so. For example, the Severn
Barrage is now back on the agenda- a truly massive source of clean, green energy’. He also backed solar/PV and micropower and said ‘Britain is better placed than any other country in the world to become a leader in offshore wind, tidal and marine power.
But when it came to it, in the run up to the Deputy PM elections, he came out in favour of nuclear, along with renewables.

David Miliband meanwhile came up with an short sound bite: 'Criminalising aviation isn't going to save the planet,’

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