Five point energy plan for new Government

As political talks go on the director of the Combined Heat and Power Association, Graham Meeks, outlines a series of five energy actions for the new Government.

Securing progress against each measure will help the UK in meeting the challenge often termed the 'energy trilemma': improving security of supply, tackling climate change whilst also continuing to supply affordable energy.

Not since the Oil Crisis of the 1970s has energy policy been such an urgent priority for an incoming Government. The need to establish reliable and secure supplies of energy is paramount. At the same time we must ensure that demanding carbon targets and rising energy costs do not undermine the fragile economic recovery. Energy policy must measure up to this unprecedented challenge.

Mr Meeks explains: "The new Government needs to tackle a daunting array of energy and environmental challenges. There is however huge potential for the UK to adopt a leaner, smarter and more integrated approach in the way the country addresses these issues.

"The steps we have identified will help Government deliver against this potential, through a more sophisticated approach to the way we meet these energy challenges.

"Combined heat and power and district heating and cooling are two technologies that underpin much of this opportunity.

"It is in all of our interests that the next Government takes bold action to ensure its potential is converted into tangible progress."

The five areas of action identified for Government by the CHPA include:

Efficient use of all fuels through CHP must be prioritised.

The result: More efficient use of precious energy resources and a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions. If the UK achieves its maximum estimated potential for delivering upwards of 160 TWh of CHP1, this would reduce our demand for natural gas in 2020 by 16%2 and save 33 million tonnes of C02 per annum.

Introduction of an investment framework for district heating infrastructure.

The result: Reliable, flexible and future-proof energy infrastructure, providing competitively-priced heating and cooling in the heart of our towns and cities, delivering the lowest-cost route to carbon savings in these urban centres2.

This also involves investment in the infrastructure that will in turn maximise prospects for meeting our demanding renewable energy targets.

Thousands of local jobs will be created in engineering and contracting as infrastructure is put in place.

Energy saving must lead the way in delivering efficiencies in the public sector.

The result: Long term energy cost savings, protecting budgets for the delivery of front-line services.

Public sector buildings providing the catalyst for the development of local energy infrastructure, placing them at the heart of the sustainable communities they are there to serve.

An integrated approach to energy planning and delivery must be adopted.

The result: An efficient and integrated system that recognises the specific needs of local consumers, communities and commerce whilst also taking advantage of local energy resources.

This provides opportunity for communities to become true stakeholders and beneficiaries in energy projects, securing buy-in to sustainable energy development.

Action to deliver energy savings must start today.

The result: Progress today in helping ensure the integrity of our energy supplies in the second half of the decade.

Real opportunityfor the energy sector to more fully contribute to the economic recovery.

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