CCC confirm that the fall in the cost of renewables will enable ‘net zero’ Greenhouse Gas Emissions
• The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) publish their long awaited report on setting the UK’s long-term emissions targets.
• Report highlights that the significant decline in renewable energy costs makes this more ambitious target more affordable
• REA support report but argue that to secure economic advantages of being a first mover, long-term investable policy is required
Today’s report from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) creates a pathway for the UK to become a world leader in low-carbon technologies and services, argues the Renewable Energy Association.
The document rightly highlights that renewable energy technologies have advanced hugely in the past decade, and that they should be further used to support national decarbonisation. The REA goes a step further and argues that strategic support for many of the cited emerging industries, for example batteries, electric vehicles (EVs), green finance, and carbon capture and storage, can represent a real opportunity for UK PLC.
The CCC’s recommendations include a robust strategy for domestic heat, the quadrupling of low carbon electricity, the complete diversion of biodegradable waste from landfill, and more ambitious roll out of electric vehicles.
The report also says the Government must seriously ramp up the deployment of renewable hydrogen with Carbon, Capture and Storage (CCS) and Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCCS) if the UK is to meet net zero GHG. A BECCS project is recommended to be deployed at scale by no later than 2030.
Commenting on the review, Dr Nina Skorupska CBE FEI Chief Executive of the Renewable Energy Association said:
“This report blazes a trail for the UK to assert itself as a leader in socially responsible new industries and the Government should grab it with both hands.
“We strongly support the view of the Committee that the solution to net zero greenhouse gasses by 2050 lies in the mass deployment of renewable technologies supported by robust, long-term and investible policies.
“Since the 80% reduction target was set, renewables have continuously surpassed expectations technically and financially and this is reflected in the CCC’s recommendations. Governmental support schemes such as the Feed-in Tariff have helped technologies such as solar PV and wind become inexpensive and straightforward to build.
“A policy gap, however, now exists to bring forward new power generation technologies in the 2020’s. Direction is required from Government in relation to heat and carbon capture and storage. In transport, more can be done to decarbonise the fuel mix, facilitate EV deployment, and ensure strategic charging infrastructure is delivered. Gas and electricity networks also need to be fully on board with this transition and their regulated profit base should reflect progress on decarbonisation.
“We hope that the response from Government in the coming months fully embraces the ambition and the opportunity presented today.”
Commenting on the report, Benedict McAleenan, Senior Adviser to Biomass UK said:
“It’s very good to see the CCC back upping the UK’s climate ambitions, showing it can be done cost-effectively.
“To hit the target, we’ll need to draw further on the UK’s largest source of renewable energy – bioenergy. The CCC has especially highlighted that bioenergy with carbon capture is a necessity, not an option. Fortunately Drax in North Yorkshire is already leading the way with the world’s first pilot of bioenergy with carbon capture.
“Sustainably sourced biomass is already providing up to 11% of UK electricity, second only to wind. However, in order to meet the energy needs of a net-zero UK, we need to get the policies right to support bioenergy into the long-term. Government now needs to provide clear, bankable and long-term support for UK biomass power and CCUS infrastructure.”
Neil Harrison Chair of the Wood Heat Association commented:
“The CCC today once again highlights to Government that decarbonising heat in the UK remains one of the biggest challenges we face, with around one third of our carbon emissions coming from heat alone.
“We cannot continue to kick the climate can down the road, and the lack of adequate policies has held back UK efforts to decarbonise this critical part of its energy system for too long.
“There are no silver bullets for decarbonising heat, which has always been the least visible of the UK’s emission reduction efforts, and we need a range of proven technologies and approaches if we are to ensure a low carbon, low cost and sustainable way of heating our homes, businesses and public spaces.
We welcome the CCC’s recommendation for stronger ambitions and setting a target for Net Zero by 2050. This will only be achieved if we act today and make the most of established renewable heat technologies. Biomass heat has a key role to play in delivering immediate carbon savings if the UK is going to realistically meet these tighter targets.”
The views of the Wood Heat Association are supported by the UK Pellet Council (UKPC), whose Chair Mark Lebus commented:
“The UKPC wholly supports the views of the WHA and with one collaborative industry voice we reiterate that biomass is a proven and credible solution to meeting these targets for decarbonisation of heat.”
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Notes to editors
• View the full CCC Report here.
About the Renewable Energy Association (REA)
The REA is the UK’s largest trade association for renewable energy and clean technologies with around 550 members operating across heat, transport, and power. The REA is a not-for-profit organisation that represents renewable energy and clean technology companies operating in over fourteen sectors, ranging from biogas and renewable fuels to solar and electric vehicle charging. Membership ranges from major multinationals to sole traders.
For more information, visit: www.r-e-a.net