Sunday, May 27, 2007

UK's White paper on energy - is it enough to lead the world?

The UK Government has published its new white paper on energy. As a progressive country leading the fight against climate change and a paradigm shift towards sustainable energy, it's worth having a look at the concrete measures proposed.

Typical for this kind of roadmap, a wide range of measures in various stages of development and covering all sectors is listed. A few highlights.

Energy saving, whether in industry, services, households, transport or the public sector is the first frontier. Interestingly, reduction targets are phrased in terms of carbon rather than energy saved, which makes sense: when including renewable energy flows, there is plenty of energy to go around, and its carbon emissions in use become the limiting factor.

More worrying are the words on renewable energy, where the EU now has a 20% commitment by 2020. UK, as a major EU member, and one of its most progressive ones on sustainable energy, states a 20% renewable electricity target as an aspiration. Regarding the 2 other renewable energy sectors:

  • a 5% renewable fuel target in transport by 2010, with an intention to go beyond after 'if the conditions are right'
  • a plan for biomass-based renewable heat

These actions on renewable energy look moderate for UK, which is naturally endowed on renewable energy sources. If UK already falls short on the EU's 20% target, we can be much more pessimistic on other countries.

Finally, careful words on nuclear energy, but a statement that without it, the 2050 60% carbon reduction target can only be met with more difficulties, at higher cost and more risks in terms of security of supply.

1 comment:

solar panels cost said...

Hmmm.. I'm not really sure with carbon emission as the metric, but let's see. It might work out.