Energy Policy

The Energy Policy Group (EPG) of the University of Exeter is pleased to give our comments on Ofgem’s RIIO2 Sector Specific Methodology (SSM). The EPG has previously given its comments on Ofgem’s RIIO Framework Consultation and has written various blogs pressing for more ambition with respect to RIIO2’s environmental output requirements. We have also argued that we find the RIIO regulatory separation from network charging to be destructive for whole system outcomes and cost effective competition. We think that the network charging regulatory process should be ended and incorporated within the RIIO process. Given the pace of innovation in energy systems, and the challenge of rapid decarbonisation to meet the Paris climate goals, IGov believes that there is a need for a shift in energy governance to steer a transformation to an integrated, socially just, zero-carbon energy system over the coming decades. With regard to Ofgem, there are two levels of change: First, there is much that Ofgem can do, given its existing duties and remit, to support this transformation. As we outline below, we do not think that the RIIO process as currently proposed will be sufficient to drive the necessary changes and support innovation in the sector. We recommend changes to the process and to the working practices of Ofgem, to move its practices into line with wider energy goals, particularly carbon reduction.

IGov 19th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 21 March 2019

Energy Policy – Wales

A collection of 100 policies and proposals aimed at tackling climate change has been published. The Welsh Government plans will see coordinated efforts in areas including power generation, transport, waste processing, housing and agriculture. They also aim to enforce a legally-binding target to cut Welsh emissions by 80% by 2050. However, the vast majority of pledges already exist in different government departments. Previously unannounced pledges include a review of skill gaps for jobs supporting decarbonisation, and the setting up of an expert group to advise on new technologies. The plans also include increasing tree planting rates, ensuring all public buildings are supplied with renewable electricity by 2020, and making all buses and taxis zero-emission by 2028.

BBC 21st March 2019 read more »

Posted: 21 March 2019

Net Zero

THE Scottish Government’s Climate Change Bill is in its early legislative stages in the Scottish Parliament. It will set in place new ambitious targets to reduce Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 90 per cent by 2050 as well as introducing new powers to set Scotland on course to net zero emissions by a date which is yet to be decided. Scotland is a small, agile nation and has had the leadership in place for many years at all layers of government and business to reach these goals, so we should embrace these targets and work collaboratively to achieving them. The Scottish economy will continue to benefit from low-carbon investment and the jobs and efficiencies it creates. The UK Government in partnership with Scottish minsters has asked the Committee on Climate Change to advise it when the UK economy can achieve net zero emissions. This could mean the UK would become the first amongst the G7 nations. We are proud at BT of the work we have done to reduce our emissions over the last 25 years. We have a big responsibility, as we use around one per cent of the UK’s electricity each year keeping the UK connected, and we continue to reduce our energy consumption year on year. Last year, BT set in place a new pledge to become a net zero-carbon business by 2045. We are confident we can achieve this having put in place a science-based target in line with a 1.5C trajectory in 2017 having met our original emissions target – to reduce our emissions by 80 per cent by 2020 – four years early.

Herald 21st March 2019 read more »

Posted: 21 March 2019

EVs

The oil industry needn’t be too concerned — for now — about how Tesla Inc.’s electric cars are denting demand. China and its bus fleet could be more of a worry. By the end of this year, a cumulative 270,000 barrels a day of diesel demand will have been displaced by electric buses, most of it in China, according to a report published Tuesday by BloombergNEF. That’s more than three times the displacement by all the world’s passenger electric vehicles (a market where Tesla has a share of about 12 percent.). Buses matter more because of their size and constant use. For every 1,000 electric buses on the road, 500 barrels of diesel are displaced each day, BloombergNEF estimates. By comparison, 1,000 battery electric vehicles remove just 15 barrels of oil demand.

Bloomberg 19th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 21 March 2019

Energy Policy

On 2 May, the Committee on Climate Change will publish new advice to the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations on the UK’s long-term climate change targets. Ahead of that report, the CCC’s Chief Executive, Chris Stark, addressed the Business Green Leaders Briefing to share his observations about the ‘climate choices’ that lie ahead, the scale and feasibility of the net zero challenge, and the importance of effective governance and leadership for long-term UK climate action. In 2008, the first action of the newly-independent Committee on Climate Change was to advise on the appropriate 2050 target for emissions. At the time, there was no globally agreed temperature goal. So we judged, based on the available climate science, that an appropriate global climate objective would be 2°C, and to avoid an extreme danger threshold of 4°C. An 80% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050, from their 1990 level, was our best estimate of the appropriate UK contribution to that goal. We said it was “challenging but feasible” and that it carried a cost – of 1-2% of GDP – which was affordable to avoid a much greater economic cost in the future. Parliament agreed – and since then we have been advising on the best, most cost-effective route to get there under the framework of carbon budgets and government plans that are required. But a great deal has changed since 2008. The UK has signed the Paris Agreement, which expects greater ambition from developed countries – and references 1.5 degrees as a global temperature goal. Global emissions have continued to rise – making one of our 2008 scenarios for peak global emissions in 2016 look very optimistic. And other shifts have occurred too – crucially, our understanding of the path to full decarbonisation and the costs of some the key technologies.

Committee on Climate Change 19th March 2019 read more »

Chief executive of Climate Change Committee Chris Stark tells business leaders to ‘take the leap’ on decarbonisation ahead of net zero report publication. Businesses should “embrace” the low-carbon transition and start investing now to prepare for the decarbonisation of the UK’s economy, the chief executive of the government’s climate watchdog said today. Speaking at BusinessGreen’s Leader’s Briefing on Net Zero Transport, Chris Stark warned governments and businesses no longer have any choice over whether to act on climate change – the only choice on offer is when to make the investment. “It’s a choice to act now, to invest in that new paradigm of carbon-neutral economic growth, or a choice to wait, and spend more,” he said. “Very, very much more in adapting to the higher temperatures and the associated destructive climate impacts.”

Business Green 19th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 20 March 2019

Energy Policy – Scotland

This report, by the CCC’s Adaptation Committee, is the second independent assessment of the Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme (SCCAP), required under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. The assessment focuses on what has changed since the Committee’s first assessment in 2016, in implementing policies and actions set out in the SCCAP and in managing Scotland’s vulnerability to climate risks. The key findings are: The most notable progress since the first assessment includes peatland restoration, increasing marine resilience and an improved understanding of flood risk in Scotland. The areas of greatest continued concern include increases in pests and diseases in Scottish forests, declines in seabird populations and soil health. Key data and evidence gaps remain that make it difficult to assess progress for a number of adaptation priorities, including the extent of housing and other infrastructure development in flood risk areas and health impacts from climate change.The Committee expects its findings to be considered in the next iteration of the Scottish Government’s SCCAP, which is due to be published later in 2019.

CCC 19th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 20 March 2019

EVs

New York City says electric cars are now the cheapest option for its fleet.

Quartz 18th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 20 March 2019

Energy Policy

Britain will struggle to keep the lights on and could face power cuts after the government has cancelled crucial energy projects, Labour have warned. Labour’s Shadow Energy Secretary Rebecca Long Bailey said the government risked failing “in one of the first duties – keeping the lights on”. A Conservative spokesman told The Sun : “The UK’s energy security is at its highest level in five years. Today and in the past, governments of all colours have understood they have a duty to ensure security of supply whilst protecting taxpayers and consumers. “Jeremy Corbyn’s energy policies would saddle families with sky high energy bills by committing billions of pounds to renationalising vast swathes of the energy system – leaving families with nowhere to turn if things went wrong. “Last week through our modern Industrial Strategy the government committed to a third of UK electricity being produced from offshore wind by 2030.”

Mirror 17th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 19 March 2019

Energy Policy – Wales

Report from the Institute of Welsh Affairs argues that combination of public and private investment could see the country fully decarbonise its electricity system over the next 15 years. Wales could shift to 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2035, creating over 20,000 jobs and delivering a £7.4bn economic boost for the country’s economy. That is the headline conclusion from a new report released last week by the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA) as part of the think tank’s Re-Energising Wales project, which argues renewables could play a central role in the country’s economic future. The report, entitled A plan for Wales’ renewable energy future: Essential actions to re-energise Wales by 2035, puts forward a 10 point plan to accelerate clean energy and energy efficiency investment across Wales. Specifically it proposes energy efficiency upgrades for 870,000 homes, the roll out of 2.6GW of solar capacity, 2.5GW of onshore wind capacity, 1.7GW of offshore wind capacity, and 4GW of marine and floating wind turbine capacity. It calculates that by 2035 Wales could boast just over 11GW of renewable power capacity delivering £7.4bn of gross value add across the economy. First Minister Mark Drakeford said Wales was already well established as a renewable energy hub in the UKL but hailed the report as “welcome insight” into how continued investment in renewables could be mobilised.

Business Green 19th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 19 March 2019

Electricity Supplies

Wind energy in Great Britain last week generated over a third of the country’s electricity, more than any other power source including natural gas, and highlighting the increasing importance of wind energy for securing the country’s power independence. RenewableUK, the country’s renewable energy trade body representing wind and hydro technologies, said data provided by independent analysts Aurora Energy Research showed that 35.6% of Great Britain’s (as distinct from the United Kingdom, as these figures do not include Ireland) electricity was provided by wind energy. Of this total, 21.4% came from offshore wind alone.

Renew Economy 19th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 19 March 2019