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UK’s failure to reduce energy demand – the most important measure to address climate change.

 No2NuclearPower  No. 136 December 21 Overtly and comprehensively ignoring demand side management . In nuClear News No.135 we asked if UK electricity demand is really going to double. While many other countries are spending billions on energy efficiency measures and proactively aiming to reduce energy and electricity consumption, the UK seems to be giving up on the old ‘fabric first’ idea and putting all its eggs into the nuclear and electricity supply basket. On transport there seems to be far too much focus on electric vehicles rather than public transport and active travel. With a nuclear tax on consumers’ bills in prospect and a large percentage of the population dependent on non-car travel options, the Government’s climate policies threaten to exacerbate inequalities rather than promote ‘climate justice’.

Unlike the UK, Denmark has a policy to reduce total energy demand by 50% by 2050. (1) And, Germany is not projecting a doubling of electricity demand either, in fact gross electricity generation is projected fall by 2050. Energy efficiency is the main mechanism, but also less waste in the system, more flexibility in storage and grids, integration of the heat sector. These all come together to work towards less (or certainly no more) electricity use whilst switching to renewables. In 2010, the Federal Environment Agency wrote that in the households, industrial as well as trade, commerce and services sectors “a reduction of final energy consumption by 58%, from 1639.4 TWh in 2005 to 774.2 TWh in 2050” is expected. Electricity consumption by these sectors decreases by 19%, from 492.9 TWh in 2005 to 396.7 TWh in 2050. Electricity demand experiences a lower reduction rate than final energy consumption due to the switch from fossil fuels to electricity. Total electricity consumption is expected to fall from 564 TWh in 2005 to 506 TWh. (2) 

The National Audit Office (NAO) published a damning report on the Green Homes Grant debacle. It has seldom issued a more excoriating report. The scheme was originally supposed to make 600,000 homes more energy efficient. It may just have reached 47,500. It was meant to create somewhere between 100,000 and 140,000 jobs, but may have only sustained 5,600 people in employment. It was supposed to last 18 months. It was ignominiously abandoned over a weekend, after just 6 months. The NAO reckon “the rushed delivery and implementation of the scheme has significantly reduced the benefits that might have been achieved, caused frustration for homeowners and installers, and had limited impact on job creation for the longer term.” ………………..

December 11, 2021 - Posted by | ENERGY, UK

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