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Fossil Fuel Phase-Out Won’t Affect Energy Supply

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A “stress test” on the security of the UK’s energy supply has been carried out after concerns were raised over a planned phase-out of coal by 2025. Bright Blue commissioned Aurora Energy Research to complete the test and found that Britain’s energy supply will be left unharmed if the Government go ahead with their plan. The research shows that UK Government could now implement the phase-out earlier than originally planned with no risk to energy supply.

Bright Blue finds that, under each scenario, phasing out coal does not undermine the security of the UK’s energy supply and there is plenty of time under each scenario to commission any required new gas capacity.

Former Energy and Climate Change Minister and advisory board member of Bright Blue’s Green conservatism project, Lord Gregory Barker, said: “This is a well-researched and timely report. Thanks to a Conservative government, the UK is now committed to taking dirty, polluting coal out of our energy mix completely. So we should take maximum advantage of this bold move. The Government should heed the recommendations, give investors even greater certainty and with that, put UK plc firmly at the forefront of the global drive for clean and smart energy technologies.”

Author of the report and associate fellow of Bright Blue, Ben Caldecott, said: “Committing to the phase out of UK coal-fired power stations is a radical and ambitious conservative approach to dealing with climate change and air pollution. It has been welcomed with widespread acclaim in the UK and internationally.”

“Despite what some exaggerated claims suggest, coal phase out even under a ‘high stress’ scenario, will not result in the lights going out. Our analysis shows the significant benefits for pollution and system security of further encouraging renewables, interconnection, storage, demand-side response and energy efficiency.”

Bright Blue make a number of policy recommendations to ensure the success of the phase-out of UK coal.

  • The Government should proceed with its coal phase-out plans, implementing an emissions performance standard to straightforwardly regulate coal off the system. We believe that the 2025 target should be brought forward to at least 2023 to give investors greater certainty, particularly those planning new gas capacity.
  • Since there are significant benefits of encouraging the ‘low stress’ scenario to materialise, the Government must encourage renewables and interconnection, as well as storage, demand side response (DSR) and energy efficiency.
  • The future of Hinkley Point C nuclear power station appears to be highly uncertain. ‘Plan B’ should be for renewables to fill the capacity gap in the late 2020s. Renewables can plug significant gaps in capacity very quickly – much more quickly than long lead time and significantly delayed new nuclear.
  • The UK should take the lead in promoting coal phase-out internationally. Globally coal needs to be dismantled to tackle climate change and the UK has significant technical and moral leadership it can deploy to encourage other countries to agree to a coordinated phased approach for closing down coal-fired power stations.

 

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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