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Archive for July, 2009

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I’ve written about this before but in light of the Low Carbon Transition Plan launched last week,  it’s worth reiterating:

It’s increasingly clear that carbon reduction through on site measures will be set at 70% of regulated emissions. Sounds quite high. But in reality this equates to just 44% of total emissions – less than half of the reduction originally required under the Zero Carbon definition!

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PAYS (“Pay As You Save”) is getting a lot of airtime these days. Born in the US, it figured largely in yesterday’s low carbon transition strategy and the Government clearly hope it will take the pain out of the £10bn per year (or so) that needs to be spent on improving existing stock.

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Government launched a barrage of documents at us yesterday. I was mostly watching out for the Renewable Strategy but that was only a small part of it. Here’s the reading roundup:

  • UK Low Carbon Transition Plan – this is the overarching doc. It’s basically the roadmap to meeting the legally binding carbon budgets from now to 2050 with some good stuff on how it will be done. But puts a hell of a lot of faith in nuclear, building new coal (with mythical magical CCS), and the efficacy of the EU ETS. 7m homes to get refurbed under Pay as You Save (more on this later). Cars to emit less carbon.
  • Consultation on Renewable and Small Scale Low Carbon Electricity Financial Incentives – the consultation on the RO and the Feed in Tariff. They appear to have watered down the FiT saying 5% return is enough to attract investment. We’ve got to stop the government from nickel and diming its way into grand sounding but useless gestures.
  • Renewable Energy Strategy – Following the draft version in 2008, this doc lays out the map for the UK to meet 15% of its total energy requirements from renewables by 2020 (this in an EU requirement as opposed to the other targets with are internal). A good thing: renewables claiming FiT’s are also likely to count towards Zero Carbon standard.
  • Low Carbon Industrial Strategy – much of the above recycled but in the context of UK business. How jobs will be created and the costs of transitioning to a low carbon economy will be minimised. It might have been the picture of Peter Mandelson in the intro, but I struggled to maintain any enthusiasm reading this one. Tidal power to get £60m. Nuclear to get a £15m research centre (let the subsidies begin!), the SW of England to become a pilot low carbon economic area.

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Phew, I can finally stop hitting the refresh button on my browser. The long awaited Renewable Energy Strategy has just been posted on the DECC website.

There goes the afternoon!

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Good news. As spotted by Tom N, the LCBP Stream 2 is back up and running with £35m of new funds (and a hefty backlog of PV, GSHP, and solar thermal projects that weren’t processed before the money ran out the last time). One lovely feature: the cap for heat technology has gone from 45kW to 300kW. Much more sensible.

It’s clear this is the Government’s stopgap until the FiT comes in for electricity in March April2010  and the RHI comes in for heat generation in April 2011. They’ve put those dates on the LCBP website as if they were set in stone, but I wonder…

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The Biomass Energy Centre has launched a national woodfuel supplier database. A couple of websites have tried to do this over the years but this one is already fairly well populated and it looks like BEC mean business.

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