Environment & Energy

Five things we’ve learnt from the Energy White Paper

This week’s is a substantial document that moves the UK a step closer towards a Net Zero energy system. However, it’s clear that the White Paper is largely about ambition, which leaves a lot for the Government to do in 2021.

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Powering Net Zero

The UK Government’s commitment to quadruple offshore wind capacity by 2030 will transform Great Britain’s electricity system. However, it poses serious challenges for the electricity market. Market conditions during the summer lockdown showed that the Government needs to make reforms, otherwise costs will rise and customers won’t benefit from the falling cost of wind and solar.

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Four negative emission technologies (NETs) that could get us to Net Zero

Reaching Net Zero requires more than just reducing emissions. To account for processes that will be exceptionally difficult to decarbonise completely (such as steel or cement making), we actually have to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, thereby balancing out at ‘net’ zero.

‘Negative emissions’ technologies (NETs), also known as Greenhouse Gas Removal (GGR) technologies, allow us to do that. They remove greenhouse gases – usually carbon dioxide – from the atmosphere and they are needed to prevent the worst effects of climate change.

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Policy Exchange and the PM’s 10-Point Plan

The Prime Minister’s green announcement reflects several policies that we’ve championed over more than a decade.

After some key personnel changes at the top, the Prime Minister has begun his administration’s ‘reset’ with a long-awaited 10-Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. The Plan has been broadly praised for its breadth and welcomed as a major statement of intent across multiple technologies. He combined knotty, unglamorous issues such as home heating with big, visionary technologies like CCS and hydrogen.

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Time to Shine

The Prime Minister’s commitment to 40 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030 is a huge undertaking that will galvanise industry to redouble their efforts to deploy clean energy projects. However, despite the scale of the ambition and the falling cost of offshore wind, the UK could also be getting more from a range of energy technologies by helping them to work together. ‘Hybrid’ clean energy projects, such as solar farms working with batteries, have the potential to significantly reduce costs by sharing components, particularly expensive grid connections. Other combinations include wind with hydrogen production or wind with interconnectors.

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The Future of the North Sea

The North Sea is strategically central to meeting the UK’s target of Net Zero emissions by 2050. By fully developing offshore wind, the North Sea could provide one-third of the UK’s energy needs, and this proportion will grow if low-carbon hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) are also fully developed.

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Latest Environment & Energy Publications

Powering Net Zero

Powering Net Zero

and

The UK Government’s commitment to quadruple offshore wind capacity by 2030 will transform Great Britain’s electricity system. However, it poses serious challenges for the electricity market. Market conditions during the summer lockdown showed that the Government needs to make reforms, otherwise costs will rise and customers won’t benefit from the falling cost of wind and solar.

The Future of UK-EU Energy Cooperation

The Future of UK-EU Energy Cooperation

Since the 1980s, UK and EU energy markets have become increasingly intertwined. Brexit doesn’t have to set back the development of a secure, affordable, low-carbon energy system in the UK and the EU, but new approaches to will be needed.

In this paper, Policy Exchange explores new models for UK-EU energy cooperation based on shared interests in competitive energy markets, robust carbon pricing, and the sharing of renewable energy resources across borders.

Latest Environment & Energy Blogs

Four negative emission technologies (NETs) that could get us to Net Zero

Four negative emission technologies (NETs) that could get us to Net Zero

Reaching Net Zero requires more than just reducing emissions. To account for processes that will be exceptionally difficult to decarbonise completely (such as steel or cement making), we actually have to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, thereby balancing out at ‘net’ zero.

‘Negative emissions’ technologies (NETs), also known as Greenhouse Gas Removal (GGR) technologies, allow us to do that. They remove greenhouse gases – usually carbon dioxide – from the atmosphere and they are needed to prevent the worst effects of climate change.

Policy Exchange and the PM’s 10-Point Plan

Policy Exchange and the PM’s 10-Point Plan

The Prime Minister’s green announcement reflects several policies that we’ve championed over more than a decade.

After some key personnel changes at the top, the Prime Minister has begun his administration’s ‘reset’ with a long-awaited 10-Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. The Plan has been broadly praised for its breadth and welcomed as a major statement of intent across multiple technologies. He combined knotty, unglamorous issues such as home heating with big, visionary technologies like CCS and hydrogen.

Latest Environment & Energy News

Latest Environment & Energy Events


  • Tuesday, 26 January, 2021
    10:30 - 11:30

The UK’s Net Zero target requires all sectors of the economy to decarbonise, particularly electricity, transport, heating, and industry. At this event, the panel will discuss the main elements of the UK Government’s recent Energy White Paper, including any areas where the Government could have gone further.


  • Wednesday, 17 October, 2018
    11:30 - 13:15

The concept of a ‘hydrogen economy’ has been put forward by proponents for many decades. In theory, this abundant element is a perfect solution to our clean energy needs. It does not produce greenhouse gases when burned, it can be stored in large quantities for long periods, and it can be used as a fuel in virtually every sector of our economy, from transport to heavy industry to home heating. Despite the notion existing for some time, and recognition of the environmental benefits that this entails, it is yet to materialise fully.


  • Tuesday, 18 September, 2018
    12:00 - 14:00

About the event The UK energy system is undergoing a transformation towards a decarbonised, decentralised, and digitalised future. According to research by the Carbon Trust and Imperial College London, a smart flexible electricity grid could help the UK cut carbon more cheaply, saving up to £40bn between now and 2050. The National Infrastructure Commission concluded that a (more…)


  • Tuesday, 14 November, 2017
    12:30 - 14:00

Policy Exchange invites you to a discussion of the role of business energy productivity in delivering clean growth. Despite policymakers actively considering what to do next, there is still a need for significant thinking to progress from the generic barriers identified to the concrete policy recommendations set out in this report.

Venue:  

Address:
Policy Exchange, 6th Floor, 8 – 10 Great George St, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AE, United Kingdom


  • Monday, 25 September, 2017
    17:30 - 18:30

Speakers: Andy McDonald MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Lilian Greenwood MP, Chair, Transport Select Committee, Prof Marcus Newborough, Development Director, ITM Power, Marcus Stewart, Head of Energy Insights, UK Energy Strategy, National Grid, Mike Copson, Hydrogen Business Development Manager, Shell New Energies, Matt Rooney, Energy and Environment Research Fellow, Policy Exchange

Venue:  

Address:
Labour Party Conference, Hall 7, Clyde, Brighton Hilton Metropole, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2FU, United Kingdom

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