IEA applaud UK’s low-carbon vision but also voice concerns

The UK is "leading by example" on low-carbon issues but will need huge private-sector investments in energy infrastructure if future development reality is to match the country's climate policy ambitions.

That’s the conclusion of a review of energy policies published today (May 30) by the International Energy Agency (IEA) which applauds the UK’s long-term vision for a low-carbon future, but adds words of caution regarding the design and implementation of current energy policies.

IEA executive director, Maria van der Hoeven, presenting the review, said that in addition to requiring huge private-sector energy investments, the UK also needed to give consumers the most cost-effective solutions possible while also enhancing co-operation with neighbouring countries to increase electricity security.

Observing that other countries were watching the UK’s “complex and ambitious Electricity Market Reform” process closely, Ms van der Hoeven said the ideal EMR result would be a more liberalised marketplace for low-carbon technologies, including renewable and nuclear energy, as well as carbon capture and storage.

“A more liquid wholesale electricity market is needed for the reform to become a success,” she said, with more efficient energy use being essential to both decarbonisation and energy security.”

Other key review points include a warning that for the Green Deal to be a success the general public will need to be made ‘sufficiently aware’ of its benefits.

There was also a reminder that moving to a low-carbon economy will take time. In that context, fossil fuels, in particular oil and natural gas, will remain important. The report therefore stressed the need for the UK to maximise its remaining potential for oil and natural gas production while the low-carbon transition continues.

Edie Staff

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