Households may face higher energy bills under proposals being considered by the government to meet a far tougher greenhouse gas emissions reduction target. Ministers will order the Committee on Climate Change to examine how Britain should respond to the dire warnings published yesterday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) about the impact of exceeding 1.5C of global warming. The UN body said rising seas would destroy coastal communities, coral reefs would disappear and floods and droughts would intensify unless global emissions were almost halved by 2030. The committee, which advises the government on its climate targets, will consider the implications and feasibility of setting a new target of “net zero” emissions by 2050. The UK’s current, legally binding, target is for a n 80 per cent reduction on its 1990 level of emissions by 2050. UK emissions were 43 per cent below the 1990 level last year. A net zero target would mean any remaining emissions by 2050 would have to be balanced by the removal of greenhouse gas from the atmosphere by expensive carbon capture and storage power stations. Households already pay about £105 a year on average to subsidise wind and solar farms and energy efficiency measures. A net zero target would require massive additional investment in such projects. Claire Perry, the energy minister, is expected to announce within days that she has asked the committee to advise on how Britain should play its part in limiting global warming to 1.5C above the pre-industrial level. The average global temperature has already increased by 1C and the past four years were the warmest on record.
Times 9th Oct 2018 read more »
Juliet Davenport: Energy is costing more. Global fossil fuel demand is high and Europe’s gas storage levels are low. Economic and political unrest in different regions has also played a role in pushing up oil prices over the past 18 months. These kinds of events are nothing new, but they reiterate the vital need to adapt our centralised energy market. Whilst here in the UK we’ve largely weaned ourselves off coal, global demand is still very high; booming China accounts for almost half the world’s coal consumption. This worldwide trend is putting immense pressure on domestic energy suppliers. The wholesale price for electricity alone has gone up by 46 per cent since the start of this year, going above £60 per megawatt hour for the first time in a decade. At Good Energy, we purchase our power from a network of over 1,400 renewable generators distributed all over the UK. We provide them with a route to market and we guarantee them a fair price for their electricity. Over the course of almost twenty years we’ve helped to grow the renewable energy industry from just under three per cent when we started in 1999, to over 29 per cent of the UK’s electricity mix today. In another twenty years, it’ll be very different again – energy transformation is quickening. Smartphones and smart meters. Electric cars and hyper loops. That West Yorkshire windfarm will have been joined by millions of households and businesses, all generating, storing, selling and consuming their own energy in a completely different way. Our role will evolve, moving from power supply to help customers – homes and businesses – navigate and manage this new world. How best to manage the dormant energy from your electric car as it sleeps overnight; how to efficiently control household energy consumption from your smartphone; how to sell – or give – surplus energy to others. Exciting and fast-changing times that require long-term vision and investment. In addition to our 1,400 UK generators, we also partner with 140,000 homeowners who generate their own power. And it’s by creating these smaller, decentralised energy models that we can minimise the impact of price changes for the longer term. Our vision for the future is simple: more renewables on the grid will help wholesale prices to come down over the long-term. This radical overhaul will replace the outdated centralised system we have been tied into for far too long. We can’t wait.
Business Green 9th Oct 2018 read more »