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Tag Archives: energy policy

100% of all energy from renewables?

By Dave Elliott

The energy scenario now offered by BEIS implies that renewable might be supplying around 50% of UK electricity from renewables by 2035, with 45GW expected to be in place by then, mostly wind and solar PV. There are more ambitious scenarios, like the one produced for the UK/Ireland by Finland’s LUT and the German Energy Watch Group as a subset of their global 100% renewables scenario.  That has renewables supplying all the electricity used in the UK/Ireland by around 2040: www.researchgate.net/publication/320776623_Global_100_RE_System_Europe_-_UK_Ireland That may be ambitious, but near 100% by 2050 certainly now seem credible for electricity, given the political will. Scotland is already at over 60%. But what about heat and transport? (more…)

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BEIS is optimistic about UK energy future

By Dave Elliott

The revised projections for energy up to 2035 from the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) are generally very optimistic. It expects low-carbon sources of electricity to supply 68% of UK power generation by 2020, 70% by 2025, 76% by 2030 and 86% by 2035. That of course includes nuclear, and assumes that the proposed new reactor projects will go ahead, although BEIS now expects one less plant will be in place by 2030 than originally hoped, so nuclear only reaches 13GW in all by 2035. And it is now also pessimistic about Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS); there is only 1GW in use in its scenario even by 2035. But it is very optimistic about renewables – it sees them expanding rapidly to 45GW by 2035, up from the 36GW projection in 2016. Let’s hope they are right! (more…)

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Green energy levy freeze

By Dave Elliott

The UK’s Autumn Budget may have backed Electric Vehicles, but it wasn’t too helpful in terms of providing extra support for the green electricity they ought to use, if we want carbon emissions to be reduced. Tucked away in the Budget details was a plan for replacing the Levy Control Framework, which caps spending on green energy projects, with a new ‘Control of Carbon Levies’ system.  It will cover the Renewables Obligation (RO), Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) and the Contracts for Difference (CfD) systems as before, but the bad news is that, to keep future costs down, on the basis of current forecasts, there will be no new low carbon electricity levies until 2025’.

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EU Energy politics at its best – and worst

By Dave Elliott

A 50% renewable electricity target for 2030 and a radical free market shake up – that’s what is on the cards from the latest EU proposals, with consumers empowered to self-generate and sell power themselves. The European Commission’s recent proposed energy policy changes aim to keep the EU competitive as the clean energy transition changes global energy markets. It also proposes new approaches to empowering and informing consumers, enabling them to self-consume renewable electricity without facing undue restrictions, and ensuring that they are remunerated for the electricity they feed into the grid. It also ‘recognizes energy communities and facilitates their participation in the market’.  (more…)

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UK has the best energy market system

By Dave Elliott

The UK government’s response to an EU consultation on energy market design was pretty forthright: we had it right. The UK competitive market CfD system, buttressed by the new Capacity Market, was the best approach and would lead to a low cost, low carbon future. With support for some renewables being cut and the prospects for the £24bn Hinkley nuclear project looking very uncertain, doubts persist as to whether this approach would in fact deliver sufficient low carbon energy to meet the UK carbon reduction targets. But, in its EU response, the government remained very upbeat. (more…)

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The alternative to the “Clean Deployment Consensus” is also unclear

by Carey W King

Belief in future rate of innovation progress is also not a guaranteed solution to “long-term” climate mitigation

I recently read over the report Challenging the Clean Energy Deployment Consensus by Megan Nicholson & Matthew Stepp for The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.  The authors define the “clean energy deployment consensus” as those (e.g. Amory Lovins, Al Gore, Mark Jacobson of Stanford) that believe clean (low-carbon) energy technologies are already sufficient to substitute for fossil fuels, and all we need to do is quickly manufacture and install them at a large enough scale to displace fossil fuels.  Contrary to purveyors of the “clean energy deployment consensus,” the authors believe that existing clean (low carbon) energy technologies are not yet sufficient to effectively mitigate climate change and economically substitute for fossil fuel energy supplies:

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