UK pushes for cleaner, greener energy

The UK’s Clean Growth Strategy looks to renewable technologies — like biomass boilers and solar panels — for a lower-carbon future.

The following post is by John Hannen, Outreach Executive at Mediaworks UK. 

Around the world, countries are typically encouraged to adopt green practices. In the UK, the government has taken strides in this department by compiling the Clean Growth Strategy. Designed to detail a comprehensive approach to ensuring a lower-carbon future, the initiative has been welcomed by many environmentalists around the UK.

This comprehensive document was put together by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) — read it here — and is set to change the eco-friendly landscape of the UK. From domestic to business gas operations, we’ve summarised the key points here:  

How is the UK dealing with climate change?

The Clean Growth Strategy is big news in the UK. In 2008, the UK introduced the Climate Change Act, and as a result, it became the first nation in the world to self-impose a legally binding carbon reduction target. The crux of it? To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels).

Will the UK make a success of its environmental target?

BEIS data revealed in 2017 suggests that the nation is right on track to accomplish its goal. Overall carbon emissions have dropped by 42% since 1990! While this progress is encouraging, the government acknowledges that there is still plenty more work to be done — and that’s where proposals like the Clean Growth Strategy come in.

Is the Clean Growth Strategy going to be a significant help?

Essentially, there are two major objectives of the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy bringing down harmful emissions and increasing economic development. The two aims behind the strategy include:

  • Maximising the social and economic benefits for the UK from this transition.
  • Meeting domestic commitments at the lowest possible net cost to UK taxpayers, consumers and businesses.

Of course, it’s essential that the country collectively gets on board with this initiative if it is going to be a success. To help, the government will implement lower-carbon processes, systems and technologies all over the country — doing so in only cost-effective ways for businesses and homes.

What are the main proposals of the Clean Growth Strategy?

The following are all accountable for the significantly reducing the UK’s carbon emissions, according to the Clean Growth Strategy:

  • Boosting business and industry efficiency (25% of UK emissions)
  • Speeding up the shift to low-carbon transport (24% of UK emissions)
  • Offering clean, smart, flexible power (21% of UK emissions)
  • Enhancing the benefits and value of our natural resources (15% of UK emissions)
  • Improving our homes (13% of UK emissions)
  • Leading the public sector (2% of UK emissions).

Find the full list of 50 pledges in this executive summary.

How much will UK homes and business operations by affected?

From UK homeowners to UK companies, this is an initiative that includes everyone living and working in the UK. A major focus will be reassessing the fuels we use for jobs like heating, cooking, and powering industrial and manufacturing processes — and embracing cleaner, greener alternatives.

There’ll be a rise in renewable technologies — like biomass boilers and solar panels — as well as a drive towards cleaner energy sources. For example, for off-grid homes and businesses, the strategy sets out specific plans to phase out high-carbon forms of fossil fuels like oil. As the lowest-carbon conventional off-grid fuel, oil to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) conversions will play a key part in replacing oil in rural parts of the country.

For buildings that are connected to the UK’s main power network, natural gas — a clean and efficient source — will stay a common option. Flogas, a leading UK energy provider, also expects to see the use of natural gas and the ‘green gas’ phenomenon (natural gas injected with a proportion of environmentally friendly biogas) grow in the next few years.

What do the experts say? 

This initiative has been very well received since its announcement in the UK. Lee Gannon, Managing Director of Flogas, said: “Through the publication of its Clean Growth Strategy, the government has made clear its intention to reduce carbon emissions from off-grid UK homes and businesses. Natural gas is affordable, versatile, widely available, and – most importantly – emits significantly less carbon than the likes of coal and oil. As such, it will continue to play a central role as the UK works towards cleaning up its energy landscape. We look forward to working alongside policymakers and wider industry stakeholders to make the Clean Growth Strategy the success that it deserves to be.”

Trade body Oil & Gas UK also predicts great things from the new initiative. Mike Tholen, its Upstream Policy Director, commented: “Oil & Gas UK welcomes the government’s commitment to technology in the strategy, especially with regards to carbon abatement measures such as carbon capture, usage, and storage. Oil & Gas UK looks forward to working with the government to see how these technologies can further reduce emissions across the economy.”

This entry was posted in Building Green, International, Planning, Policy, Preservation. Bookmark the permalink.