A summary of the UK Government (Dept of Energy and Climate Change) Policy Paper ‘2010 to 2015 government policy: low carbon technologies‘, May 2015.
Increasing the amount of energy the UK gets from low-carbon technologies such as renewables and nuclear, and reducing emissions through carbon capture and storage (CCS), will help us to:
- make sure the UK has a secure supply of energy
- reduce greenhouse gas emissions to slow down climate change
- stimulate investment in new jobs and businesses
Innovation in energy technologies is essential if the UK is to meet our challenging future climate change goal of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most abundant greenhouse gas (GHG) emitted from fossil fuel consumption. Other GHGs which are monitored and make up the ‘basket’ covered by the UNFCCC Kyoto Protocol include: methane (CH4) , nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), perfluorocarbons (PFC), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).
We are legally committed to meeting 15% of the UK’s energy demand from renewable sources by 2020.
- Bioenergy has the potential to provide about 30% of the 2020 target
- We introduced the Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) scheme on 1 April 2010. FITs support organisations, businesses, communities and individuals to generate low-carbon electricity using small-scale (5 megawatts (MW) or less total installed capacity) systems. An organisation, business, community or individual installs a small-scale low-carbon electricity generation system (solar photovoltaic (PV), wind, hydro, micro-CHP or anaerobic digestion).
- New Nuclear Power stations will help the UK reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 and secure its energy supply. The nuclear industry plans to develop around 16 gigawatts (GW) of new nuclear power.
- Wave and Tidal Stream Energy has the potential to meet up to 20% of the UK’s current electricity demand, representing a 30-to-50 gigawatt (GW) installed capacity.
- The UK does not have the deep Geothermal Power potential of volcanic regions like New Zealand and Iceland, but in some locations underground temperatures have the potential for deep geothermal projects. These are at depths of over 1km for heat only projects or 4 to 5km for power projects.
- The UK has some of the best Wind Energy resource in Europe, with 20 offshore windfarms (including the 4 largest farms in the world) and a 3308 MW capacity. The cost of Onshore Wind Power has fallen and we have been able to cut the subsidy accordingly. In 2012 we announced we would reduce support for onshore wind under the RO by 10% between 2013 and 2017.
- Carbon Capture and Storage is the only way we can reduce carbon dioxide emissions and keep fossil fuels (coal and gas) in the UK’s electricity supply mix. To bring down costs and allow CCS to be more widely used, the full chain of capture, transport and storage needs to be built and operated on a commercial scale at power stations that are already generating electricity.
UK Energy Statistics 2009-2013 (Digest of UK Energy Statistics, UK Gov)
Graphs from data in tables.