U.K. Energy Secretary Ed Davey called on the government to agree on a 2030 target to cut power sector emissions, after industry said the absence of such a goal undermines Britain’s low-carbon electricity plans.
“There is huge support for industry for this measure and I hope that we can win that argument in this House,” Davey said today in Parliament. He noted that the measure, which has support from companies including Electricite de France SA and Marks & Spencer Group Plc, needs approval from all of his colleagues in the coalition administration to go ahead.
Chancellor George Osborne, a Conservative lawmaker, is wary of a target that would limit hopes for expanding gas-fired plants as a way to ensure growing power demand is met. He has suggested holding back on adopting more ambitious targets.
More than 50 companies and industry groups wrote to Osborne on Oct. 8 saying the gas plans and lack of carbon intensity goal hurt confidence for those investing in cleaner forms of generation in the U.K., which needs 110 billion pounds ($178 billion) by 2020 to replace plants, upgrade grids and curb emissions.
“I do think there is a case for a decarbonization target for power sector,” Davey said. The energy secretary too has said gas must play a central part in Britain’s plans to shift to a low-carbon economy though has denied a “dash for gas.”
The Committee on Climate Change, the government’s independent climate adviser, has urged the government to introduce a target to reduce the carbon intensity of power generation to about 50 grams of carbon dioxide a kilowatt-hour by 2030 to meet its 2050 emissions cutting goals, using the Energy Bill. The Bill did not include a 2030 target when published in draft form in May.
Greg Barker, a junior minister, said during the same Parliament session that the government was considering including a feed-in tariff for energy efficiency in the bill.
The efficiency proposals being discussed would be the “most transformational, radical proposals on energy efficiency ever introduced in this place,” Barker said. The measures may be included through amendments to the bill as it progresses, he said. Davey said today the bill would be put before parliament this month.
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