With the election manifestos of the main political parties to be published shortly, and with the election campaign in full swing, the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) has today called upon the main political parties to adopt a series of measures to achieve Net Zero.
The ADE urges the country's politicians to prioritise the HM Treasury's review into funding the transition to a net zero economy and build on this towards Treasury and the Cabinet Office leading truly cross-Government efforts to achieving our climate change ambitions. We urge all parties to publicly commit to these additional measures:
- The Public Sector should reach net zero by 2040, setting an example for the rest of the UK to follow and helping to build markets for the technologies and business models that the UK will need.
- All buildings, new and existing, need to be covered by minimum energy efficiency standards by 2040 and our energy system should prioritise continuing gains in primary energy efficiency. Improvements in energy efficiency are vital to ensuring that the net zero system is as cost-effective as possible.
- Government policy to decarbonise the economy must treat all energy measures on an equal footing, acknowledging that demand reduction through energy efficiency, low carbon supply, and flexibility all have a critical role to play in reducing carbon emissions.
- Ensure that investment is (re)directed towards low carbon technologies, and provide clarity about future support for low carbon technologies, including in the post renewable heat incentive landscape after 2021.
- Set out a clear vision and concrete policies to decarbonise heat through a heat decarbonisation roadmap in summer 2020 and a broader framework that enjoys cross-political support. This should include introducing an effective regulatory framework that makes investment in heat networks viable.
- Set out policies to realise a truly smart energy system through the 2020s. For example, real time metering of building performance for all non-domestic buildings and smarter energy data for our homes to enable consumers to take control of their energy consumption
Dr Joanne Wade, Deputy Director of the ADE, said:
"The General Election has been billed as the greenest one ever, so we want all parties to come up with a package of policy measures that drive the UK's efforts to deliver net zero.
"Local onsite generation and energy management from thousands of businesses and millions of homes will be key to the UK's net zero future. A zero-carbon energy system can only happen when energy customers and local energy are placed at the heart of the way that the UK meets its energy needs.
"We need to make it easier and simpler for consumers to participate in the energy market and make clear what the future of our buildings and energy system look like from their perspective. We want to see legislation for a clear, rising trajectory of minimum energy efficiency standards for our existing building stock, which will enable innovation in technologies and green finance, and give businesses and individuals the confidence to invest.
"We could become a global leader on the drive to net zero. A new legislative framework is required from the next Government to provide the regulatory backbone for the vital changes that needed to make this happen. We need the new government to commit to publishing the heat decarbonisation roadmap in summer 2020 as planned. The policy package overall must be ambitious and send clear signals to all market actors showing how they can contribute to delivering net zero."
Why decentralised energy and energy efficiency has a significant role to play in delivering net zero - key facts and figures:
- Ultra-low carbon onsite combined heat and power, capturing otherwise wasted heat, could increase to 15 GW, the equivalent of more than 7 large power stations
- Recycling of waste heat through heat networks will have a key role in delivering clean, green cities heating 1.5 million homes by 2030 rising to 5 million by 2050
- Energy efficiency could cut as much as £400 a year from households' energy bills and cut £6 billion from business energy bills between now and 2030
- £800 million of value to homes and businesses through helping to reduce peak power demand; a market that could triple in size to match other leading nations