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Renewable Energy Strategy

ACE submitted a written response to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform’s consultation on the Renewable Energy Strategy.

In summary, ACE is pleased that the role of energy demand policy in helping to achieve the renewables target has been recognised. Energy efficiency improvements to buildings are the most cost-effective way of tackling climate change, representing negative marginal abatement costs and releasing value for the UK economy. Reducing energy demand is paramount to addressing the UK’s four primary energy objectives: improving energy security by reducing imports; reducing costs to the consumer; reducing CO2 emissions; and ensuring a competitive UK economy through reduced wastage. With this in mind it is vital that the UK develops a truly integrated approach to energy policy with energy efficiency at its centre, thus ending the current cross-departmental division of supply and demand side policy.

ACE does not believe that the choice should be between investing in renewables and energy conservation to meet this target. The widest possible energy saving programme should be started immediately to help householders with their bills, the UK with its energy supply and climate/energy targets, and business with improved competitiveness. As a by-product, the amount of absolute renewable generation required by 2020 will be reduced. This would also avoid the need to look internationally for some of our renewable energy deployment. Paragraph 1.5.4 of the consultation document suggests that meeting the marginal percentage point of the target by supporting renewable deployment outside of the UK could reduce the overall cost by 15-20%. However, this takes no account of further demand reduction which would effectively also replace the marginal costs of the final percentage point; would provide real benefits in terms of reduced fuel bills, reduced occurrence of fuel poverty and increased comfort levels to the UK population; would help achieve the UK’s climate change targets; would reduce the UK’s reliance on imported fuel; would improve the competitiveness of UK business and create many jobs in the energy service sectors; and finally, could remove the oft-cited accusation that the Government simply wants to export the UK’s problems elsewhere. None of the above benefits would accrue should the UK export some of its renewables target.


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