Government promises low carbon future
£10m for electric car chargers
Energy Secretary Ed Miliband has outlined our bright, green future in the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan which aims to cut emissions by 34 per cent of 1990 levels by 2020.
Some 21 per cent has already been cut., and by 2020 Miliband reckons we'll have 1.2m in "green jobs", whatever they are. Some 1.5m households will be producing their own energy with government support and 40 per cent of electricity will come from low carbon sources like renewables, nuclear and clean coal.
In this brave new world we will also see cars which emit 40 per cent less carbon than they do now.
The paper hopes about 50 per cent of savings will come from greening up the power supply. This includes £6m for a smart grid, £11.2m to help local authorities fast-track planning decisions on renewables and low carbon energy sources.
The short list for the Severn Barrage project is confirmed, as is approval of a biomass plant in Teeside.
Savings from homes are predicted to provide 15 per cent of the total cut. Ofgem gets more powers. There is £4m for individuals to green their houses which will be paid back from lower energy bills. 15 towns and villages are challenged to become model green towns.
£120m will be spent on offshore wind and £60m on wave and tidal technology and £6m will be spent looking at geothermal energy.
The government is also detailing proposals to create a recharging infrastructure for electric and hybrid cars. More details here.
David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said the move offered huge opportunities for Britain's businesses but he warned: “On the day that the UK’s largest employer in the green energy industry is to cease production of wind turbines [Vesta's wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight closes tomorrow, with production moving to the US], we need to ensure that these announcements are made of real substance.”
The Tories accused the government of paying the price for ignoring the issue for ten years and that the best bits of policy were stolen from them.
The government's website on the assorted ideas is here.®
The Severn barrarge revisited
Proposed in the 1960s and onward IIRC.
Yes it would bring potentially massive chages to the estuary. But being essentially a very large lump of concrete its life expectancy is in centuries, not decades.
Its ability to generate several % of the whole UK eletricity demand on a *predictable* basis (tides are powered by the moon) suggest it could be a good anchor generator at certain times of every day. This can be extended by gating the flow.
Water flowing down hill (or more subtly in the form of tidal or ocean currents) might not be very glamourous but can supply substantial dollops of power in a relatively small volume, which seems to be what big generators like.
Of course we still seem to have the worst housing insulation standards in Northern Europe.
re:bright, green future
Well you might first consider that most jobs are complete bullshit anyway and do absolutely nothing productive. Greening the way these people work only gets you half the saving. It would be better to get rid of these jobs and services completely.
A lot of emissions reduction is just creative accounting. Should you consider emissions at the point of generation or point of consumption? If you want to think globally then it has to be at the point of consumption. Politicians often prefer point of production since if a factory is shut down then they can claim a reduction even if the citizens are still consuming the same products made elsewhere.
Waste of time & money
With China's & India's economies growing at 8-10%, it wouldn't make a crap of difference if the UK cut it's CO2 to zero or doubled it's output.
This £250 a year tax we're all going to paying should be to embrace & deal with climate change, not Canute-like try and stop it. I'm sure the JET laboratory could use the £100bn better than subsidising bloody windmills. We could be world leaders in fusion power - we can't even keep the one windmill factory open on the IoW - now have to import them from China!
The 1.2m jobs are to be civil servants - one department collecting carbon taxes, another handing out carbon credits - just like the existing big government bloat we have now.