Yesterday the UK Government unveiled its most comprehensive plan yet setting out how the country will meet its target of a 34% reduction in emissions on 1990 levels by 2020.
The legally binding carbon budgets set by the UK Government were the first of their kind and the transition plan set out yesterday is one of the most detailed on how these targets can be reached.
“The UK was the first country in the world to legislate for carbon budgets. It was a dramatic change in approach,” said Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband.
“This is a transition plan for Britain, a route-map to 2020, with carbon savings expected across every sector and a carbon budget assigned to every government department alongside its financial budget,” he added.
The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan main points:
- 40% electricity from renewables, nuclear and clean coal;
- Pay-as-you-save energy makeovers for seven million homes and support for 1.5 million homes to generate their own energy;
- Reducing carbon emissions from new cars by 40%;
- 1.2 million green jobs; and
- Cutting gas imports by half.
As a companion to the main transition plan, the Government also published its Renewable Energy Strategy, which outlines how the UK will achieve 15% of all energy from renewables by 2020. The main points at a glance:
- 30% of electricity from renewables by 2020 up from current levels of 5.5%, mainly on- and offshore wind, biomass, hydro, wave and tidal;
- 12% of renewable heat from biomass, biogas, and solar and heat pump sources;
- 10% of transport energy from renewables, including electric vehicles and electrification of rail network;
- Consultation on extending the existing Renewables Obligation to 2037 and limiting support to 20 years;
- Increased use of sustainable biofuels through amendment or replacement of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation;
- Introduction of a Renewable Head Obligation;
- Consultation on clean energy cash back scheme (otherwise known as feed-in tariffs);
- Office for Renewable Energy Deployment to be set up within Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC);
- DECC to take over setting up a new grid access scheme from Ofgem; and
- Confirmation of the three barrage and two lagoon schemes to be considered for the Severn Estuary, which could generate up to 5% of the UK’s electricity demand.
In addition to these measures and those announced yesterday in the transport and low carbon industrial strategy, the Government’s plans include:
- Giving the go ahead to the UK’s largest biomass power station in Teeside;
- Up to £6 million to develop a smart grid;
- £11.2 million to help local authorities speed up planning decisions on renewable and low-carbon energy projects;
- Extending CERT energy efficiency programme to 2012;
- A voluntary personal carbon incentive scheme to save energy;
- 15 villages, towns or cities to be chosen as pilots for green initiatives;
- DECC to cut emissions from its own building 10% over the next 18 months; and
- New support for anaerobic digestion and energy efficient, low-carbon farming.
The Government says that the plans unveiled yesterday will not lead to increased energy bills over the next five years. By 2020, however, all climate change policies are likely on average to add an extra 8% or £92 to current household bills.
For further information:
New wave in UK’s low carbon industrial strategy (15-Jul)
UK Government sets out green future for transport (15-July)
UK Government to unveil low-carbon action plan (13-Jul)
Gordon Brown’s plan for the future goes green (30-Jun)
UK Government shortlists five schemes for Severn estuary (26-Jan)
16 July 2009