Response to Government's first Annual Energy Statement

The UK's Government has laid out plans it hopes will drive us to a low carbon society by 2050.

However, while the response from industry has largely been positive fears over the extent to which the proposals will be seen through linger.

In the first ever statement to Parliament, Energy and Climate Change secretary Chris Huhne set out 32 actions he hopes will increase the transformation of the energy system and wider economy.

Mr Huhne also outlined the 2050 pathway, which he hopes will help drive the country towards a low carbon future.

Full details of the statement can be found by clicking here to go to the Department of Energy and Climate Change's (DECC) website.

Mr Huhne said: "The Annual Energy Statement sets out 32 important actions to introduce the transparency, certainty and long-termism needed to unlock investment.

Watch Mr Huhne explain the statement below.

"Our future energy system is too important to rely on crystal ball gazing.

"The challenge is ambitious but achievable. We're already on track to cut the UK's emissions by 34% by 2020, and will do more if we can win the case for greater ambition across the whole EU.

"But our line of sight needs to extend much further, through to the middle of the century.

"The era of cheap, abundant energy is over. We must find smart ways of making energy go further, and value it for the costly resource it is, not take it for granted."

Deloitte's UK head of the Renewable Energy Team, Roman Webber, said: "The Annual Energy Statement builds on the announcements previously put out by the coalition after the election, adding further detail and timelines for the immediate priority areas for energy and climate change policy, such as consideration of a higher target for renewable energy for 2020 and beyond.

"It also includes a commitment to the publication of a renewable energy delivery plan and a roadmap for implementation, as well as reaffirming the review of the various incentive mechanisms for renewable energy and low carbon generation as part of the electricity market reform.

"It is helpful for businesses to have this for planning and although it will take time for them to digest the full impact of the 32 actions announced today, the energy statement should build the government's credibility with key stakeholders.

"In particular there is welcome progress on grandfathering of ROCs for biomass and the offshore transmission transitional regime, which will mean that projects can start moving ahead."

Wind power trade association RenewableUK's chief executive, Maria McCaffery, said: "This statement is good news for renewables and the UK as a whole - the 2050 pathways work shows that wind and renewables will be at the heart of the UK's energy mix for the long term.

"The Government new figures on cost impact show beyond a shadow of a doubt that wind is not only good for the environment and jobs but for consumers too."

Greenpeace's executive director, John Sauven, said: "The new study shows that a high-tech low-carbon future is within our grasp but it won't be achieved without massive public and private investment and a detailed plan.

"Right now it's not clear that ministers are committed to unlocking that investment, and without it any plan is worthless.

"If we keep kicking our heels instead of building a clean energy economy we'll miss our climate change targets and lose the economic advantage that would result from being a world-leader in green technology."

Global environmental consultancy WSP Environment & Energy's director David Symons, said: "There is strong appetite among the public to reduce carbon emissions, and DECC announcements provide further evidence of the Government's commitment.

"But above all we need to see action - action on increasing renewables, increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon. Policies provide the direction, but we need to move fast beyond papers and strategies and get into the meat of implementation.

"Business needs confidence that policies are for the long-term - that feed-in tariffs will remain, that renewable heat incentives will be introduced, and that planning policies will actively support the development of renewables across the country.

"While it is easy to get excited about policy announcements, ultimately it is only the implementation of these policies and programmes that will make a difference.

"The extent to which the proposals will be seen through remains to be seen."

Luke Walsh



Energy efficiency & low-carbon
Click a keyword to see more stories on that topic, view related news, or find more related items.


You need to be logged in to make a comment. Don't have an account? Set one up right now in seconds!

© Faversham House Group Ltd 2010. edie news articles may be copied or forwarded for individual use only. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.