Richard Black, director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) has reacted to a new report by the Energy and Climate Change Committee on the UK’s 2020 renewable heat and transport targets with the following statements:
“The Committee rightly identifies that the new Industrial Strategy department under Greg Clark has an ideal and very timely opportunity to develop more joined-up thinking on the low-carbon economy.
Increasingly the energy system will become integrated, with both heating and transport making more use of electricity, so treating it as a system is obviously the sensible thing to do.
“This report confirms that BEIS, as a new department, needs to come up with such a strategy and ensure other departments buy into it. And the early signs on this are promising; the new ministerial team clearly understands the opportunities presented by new clean industries, and their early comments suggest they are determined to embed these into a wider industrial strategy.
“Nevertheless, as the Committee says, areas like heat and transport are lagging behind, so the sooner we see concrete proposals to address these, the better.”
NFU Chief Adviser on Renewable Energy Dr Jonathan Scurlock commented:
“It’s heartening to see the Committee highlight the wider bioenergy opportunities around low-carbon heat from solid biomass fuels and biomethane, because so often it feels like these are overlooked. British farmers know that their counterparts in Austria and Germany, in particular, have prospered from opportunities to provide biomass heat and biogas to their national economies – opportunities that could be replicated in the UK if only the potential contribution of the land-based sector to a low-carbon strategy was fully recognised.
“It’s also important to highlight the potential contribution of domestic biofuel production to animal feed supply as well as renewable transport needs, at a time when the future of domestic agricultural policy is so uncertain. Bioenergy technologies such as biomass heating boilers and liquid biofuels made rapid strides initially as drop-in replacements for fossil fuels, and they should continue to be supported as we decarbonise our energy supply.”