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‘Blackout Britain’: Response To The CPS Report

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The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) have responded to a report from the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) which states that policies supporting renewable energy demonstrate poor value for money and if coal power is phases out, this increases the risk of power cuts.

Richard Black, director of the ECIU, said that spending on low-carbon power represents a prudent and popular investment for the future.

“Britain’s energy strategy does indeed need some reforming, but it’s a shame that organisations feel they have to resort to ‘Project Blackout Fear’ in order to get their points across,” he said.

“Critics of decarbonisation have been warning that ‘the lights will go out’ for 10 years, and one suspects people are a little confused given that the lights have stubbornly stayed on, apart from when storms bring down power-lines or sub-stations get flooded.

“The reality is that Britain, along with many other countries, is in the middle of a transition to a low-carbon energy system based largely around renewable generation. In the midst of change, things can look a bit messy – but done right, we’ll come out of it with a system that delivers reliable low-carbon power at low cost – and what look like subsidies now will turn out to have been prudent investments for the future.”

A recent survey carried out by ComRes for ECIU found that 84% of Britons support subsidies that reduce energy waste, and 83% back subsidies for renewable energy. These figures were far higher than for any other type of energy investment. [1] An ECIU report last year found that there has been only one power cut related to generation problems in the last 10 years, and that citizens of Germany and Denmark experience fewer power cuts than Britons despite those countries producing a greater proportion of their electricity from renewables. [2]

ECIU energy analyst Jonathan Marshall also questioned some of the assumptions in the CPS report:

“The quality of findings in reports such as this are highly dependent on the data used and methodologies applied. In this case, both areas are somewhat lacking,” he said.

“The report uses an unsubstantiated estimated of balancing costs more than six times the widely accepted value, and apportions 100% of policy costs to householders, when the residential sector accounts for just one-third of electricity use.

“This method inflates the real cost per household by a factor of four. It also ignores the fact that the expansion of renewable generation in the UK has seen average wholesale prices fall by around 25% over the past five years, savings that can be used to offset subsidy costs and deliver good value to bill payers”

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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