All Policy Exchange publications are free to download in .pdf format. You can also purchase hard copies of the majority of our reports – check each individual report page for details.
Environment & Energy Publications
The current policy of subsidising select UK ‘green’ industries is based not on the subsidies for such selected sectors being the best way to reduce carbon emissions, but that a principal objective of these public subsidies is to promote UK growth, exports and employment. This is a big gamble, with renewables policies costing tens of billions of pounds more than necessary to meet 2020 carbon reduction targets.
Based on interviews with 22 energy experts and analysis of current policy, Boosting Energy IQ finds the UK’s overlapping climate policies are unnecessarily complex. Moreover, they have created multiple carbon prices across the non-domestic sector. This risks making overall carbon reductions more expensive.
Untapped Potential identifies reforms to regulatory arrangements for abstraction and water supply, to better protect rivers and natural environments at lower costs.
Climate Change Policy – Time for Plan B proposes high level changes in UK and EU policy, with the aim of developing a “Plan B” Climate Policy that would better reflect the new and potentially dangerous circumstances we find ourselves in.
2020 Hindsight examines 16 different plans for achieving the UK target of an 80% cut in carbon emissions by 2050. None of the models showed that the UK’s commitment to producing 35% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 was needed to reach its carbon target.
Britain’s electricity market is being hamstrung by too much regulation and uncertainty, according to a new study from Policy Exchange.
Carbon Omissions reveals that Britain is actually consuming almost a third more CO2 than it was in 1990. The difference is that much of the carbon consumed in the UK and EU is “embedded” in products imported from countries such as China rather than produced in the UK.
Green Bills reveals how the total levy in energy – effectively tax to pay for climate and renewable energy policies – is set to soar by 2020. Figures reveal that by 2020, the cost of policies like the Renewables Obligation and Feed-in Tariffs – which pay householders to produce power uneconomically through technologies like solar – will hit over £16 billion a year.
The report suggests that a carbon tax would be a more cost-effective way of ensuring that Britain goes greener more quickly and more efficiently with a simpler, better targeted policy which is credible over the long term.
This report calls for a more honest approach from government. We argue that if the government wishes to use the Winter Fuel Payment funding to boost the incomes of older people, it should do so transparently through the pensions or benefits system. If, on the other hand, it is serious about helping people who struggle to heat their homes, the government should focus on improving domestic energy efficiency and effective approaches to tackling poverty.