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Published:  18 June, 2007

Reducing UK carbon emissions by the equivalent of every vehicle on Britain’s roads today is the object of a wide range of measures proposed in the Energy White Paper published late last month. That objective would reduce carbon emissions by 23 to 33 Mt by 2020.

In a statement to the House of Commons, Alistair Darling, Trade & Industry Secretary, highlighted two major challenges — climate change and maintaining stable and affordable energy supply in an increasingly unstable world.

On the energy-supply front, the UK is becoming increasingly dependent on imported gas and oil, and a third of the UK’s capacity for generating electricity is due to close in the next 20 years.

The Government response is to treble the amount of electricity generated from renewables by 2015 and become a leader in the development of carbon capture and storage. The Government is also to consult on the significant role that new nuclear power stations could play in cutting emissions and diversifying supply.

A report on distributed generation is to be published, including simplification of the energy market and licensing arrangements for localised energy by the end of 2008 and clearer export tariffs from all six major energy suppliers for microgenerators to sell excess electricity.

Energy efficiency is also on the agenda, with a proposal that energy companies double their efforts in promoting energy-efficiency measures, which will reduce emissions and fuel bills.

Industry reaction is mixed.

CIBSE approves that the Government recognises that enforcement of the Building Regulations is a key element to their successful use as tools for carbon reduction in buildings. The institution also applauds the continued support of heat-and-power schemes.

On the other hand, CIBSE does not believe that the Energy White Paper delivers for renewables, and misses an important opportunity to confirm the role that renewables should play in working towards a sustainable future. CIBSE also believes that the inclusion of nuclear power in the review removes the emphasis from energy efficiency and renewable options.

The Construction Products Association has expressed disappointment that the opportunity has been missed to create greater incentives to improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings. Rita Singh, director of environment and industry performance, says, ‘Just 1% improvement in the existing stock’s carbon emissions would be more than equal to making a whole year’s new build zero carbon.’Reducing UK carbon emissions by the equivalent of every vehicle on Britain’s roads today is the object of a wide range of measures proposed in the Energy White Paper published late last month. That objective would reduce carbon emissions by 23 to 33 Mt by 2020.

In a statement to the House of Commons, Alistair Darling, Trade & Industry Secretary, highlighted two major challenges — climate change and maintaining stable and affordable energy supply in an increasingly unstable world.

On the energy-supply front, the UK is becoming increasingly dependent on imported gas and oil, and a third of the UK’s capacity for generating electricity is due to close in the next 20 years.

The Government response is to treble the amount of electricity generated from renewables by 2015 and become a leader in the development of carbon capture and storage. The Government is also to consult on the significant role that new nuclear power stations could play in cutting emissions and diversifying supply.

A report on distributed generation is to be published, including simplification of the energy market and licensing arrangements for localised energy by the end of 2008 and clearer export tariffs from all six major energy suppliers for microgenerators to sell excess electricity.

Energy efficiency is also on the agenda, with a proposal that energy companies double their efforts in promoting energy-efficiency measures, which will reduce emissions and fuel bills.

Industry reaction is mixed.

CIBSE approves that the Government recognises that enforcement of the Building Regulations is a key element to their successful use as tools for carbon reduction in buildings. The institution also applauds the continued support of heat-and-power schemes.

On the other hand, CIBSE does not believe that the Energy White Paper delivers for renewables, and misses an important opportunity to confirm the role that renewables should play in working towards a sustainable future. CIBSE also believes that the inclusion of nuclear power in the review removes the emphasis from energy efficiency and renewable options.

The Construction Products Association has expressed disappointment that the opportunity has been missed to create greater incentives to improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings. Rita Singh, director of environment and industry performance, says, ‘Just 1% improvement in the existing stock’s carbon emissions would be more than equal to making a whole year’s new build zero carbon.’



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