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13 Jul 2009 04:07:04

UK renewable energy policy comes under fire

UK renewable energy policy comes under fire
The UK government must make a significant shift in its energy policy if carbon reduction targets are to be met, a leading organisation has warned.

According to the Confederation of British Industries (CBI), the current policy of incentivising investment in wind power will not encourage enough development in other low-carbon technologies, potentially threatening the security of the UK's future energy mix.

In a report entitled Decision Time, the trade body urged the government to pursue policies and actions supporting a more balanced mix of clean energies, including nuclear and carbon-sequestered coal power.

John Cridland, deputy director general of the CBI, added that "large chunks" of the UK's existing energy infrastructure need wholesale replacing if climate change targets are to be met.

"The government's disjointed approach is deterring the private sector investment needed to get our energy system up to scratch, bolster security and cut emissions," he warned.

"If we carry on like this we will end up putting too many of our energy eggs in one basket."

In order to encourage the adoption of a more balanced energy mix, the CBI suggested a number of policies including a speeding up of the planning and regulatory frameworks for carbon capture and storage demonstration plants and more investment in upgrades to the national electricity grid.

Without taking action it suggested that the UK's energy mix would consist of 36 percent gas; 1 percent coal; 24 percent wind; 20 percent nuclear; 12 percent other renewables and 8 percent clean coal by 2030 - meaning that 64 percent would be derived from low-carbon sources.

This is significantly behind the Committee on Climate Change's target of 78 percent.



Discussion Thread  

19 Jul 2009

What a suprise a finite fuel lobbyist group complains of lack of support for outdated finite,imported, dirty fossil fuels and nuclear.
The C.B.I claimed the economy would be destroyed by the ethical minimum wage (1997?) when it was and is destroyed by CBI recommended market approach of minimal regulation and greed.
CBI is an outdated relic of the past R.I.P.

Duncan wrote:

24 Jul 2009

Statements like this from the CBI do make them appear a little outdated, short sighted and possible a little foolish.

My reasoning is this. Firstly they are advocating CCS for industrial processes.
This technology is still under development, and allot further away than 2030. Even if by some miracle they developed a cost effective method of capturing the CO2, they would then have to install the systems.
However much like nuclear, people seem to be missing part of the bigger picture. What does one do with the waste when you have extracted it or captured it?
Every CCS project to date has been conveniently located near a old oil and gas well. Thus they did not have to pipe the CO2 very far to a conveniently large gas tight hole in the ground. Geology is a hue component, and a science that is still not entirely understood (According to a member of BP's geology Team in Abu Dhabi Feb 2009). So the likelihood of have the correct geology in close proximity to the industrial process producing the CO2, is like hoping to find an oil well below your petrol station!
As for funding Nuclear development. I sadly do not have the figure of donations to date. But they far exceed renewable investments, and still no solution has been found for the waste bi-product, and nuclear power is still not cheep. However large amounts of funding are still being diverted to nuclear. £20 million for example has just been given for a new National Nuclear Laboratory.

I do however agree with the sentiment that a broader energy mix is required. But for me that means equal incentives for other sustainable / energy efficient technologies. For example Waste to energy, Anaerobic digestion, Biomass, Tidal and wave technologies. Renewable energy storage through the use of hydrogen should also be considered.

Discussion Thread  


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