The government has announced a fund with a budget of £20 million to help organisations and businesses in the UK reduce their carbon footprint.
In a talk at the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) energy conference yesterday, energy and climate change secretary, Ed Davey announced details of a £10 million electricity demand reduction auction for projects that help reduce electricity demand across the UK.
Organisations such as hospitals, airports and supermarket chains can compete for funding and over 300 have already come forward.
Davey said on the day, “The funds we invest now in keeping the lights on could, in the future, be available to support cheaper projects that deliver lasting reductions in peak electricity demand.
“I want to unlock the untapped potential of better efficiency in electricity use – so that more efficient kit can compete with building new power stations in the future. Our £20 million pilot will fund schemes that will help reduce our demand – not only saving businesses and their customer’s money, but reducing the amount of electricity we’ll need to generate.”
The scheme aims to help energy efficiency and make savings equivalent to 9% of total demand by 2030.
Davey also mentioned a new report by the Department of Energy and Climate on energy investment in the UK.
The report notes the success of the renewable energy, stating 15% of the UK’s electricity is now renewable. It adds that the average annual investment in renewables has more than doubled since 2010, with £8 billion invested in renewable technologies in 2013.
The UK is the world leader in offshore wind, with an installed capacity of 3.8 gigawatts and by 2020 the sector could see capacity increase to power almost 7 million homes. The government also recently approved what could be the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
However, there have been reports that the UK has fallen in its attractiveness for renewable energy investment due to political uncertainty leading to a lack of investor confidence.
There are also concerns that although electricity from renewables is growing, the UK only has 5.2% of total energy consumption from renewables when the target is 15% by 2020.
Photo: Liz West via Flickr