UK Government Takes Action for Carbon Reduction with Tightened Aviation and Process Standards in 2024 

The UK government is planning to reform its emissions trading scheme in the upcoming year. This will involve setting stricter emissions limits for heavy industry, aviation, and power generation, whilst also extending emissions caps to additional sectors such as waste management and domestic maritime transport. These changes will begin to come into play by 2024.

The UK Emissions Trading Scheme Authority (UK ETS) is a government body that oversees the UK’s emissions trading scheme by setting rules and regulations, monitoring compliance, and issuing and managing emissions allowances. ETS comprises of the UK Government, Scottish Government, Welsh Government and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland.

In an aim to reduce carbon footprint and work towards net zero, ETS will be gradually reducing allowance supplies over the next few years. Starting in 2026, the aviation sector will no longer receive free allowances under the UK ETS. The UK government is currently investigating alternative options, such as whether airports and airlines can invest in greenhouse gas removal technologies, since the commercial scale technologies required to operate in line with the traditional net zero trajectory are not yet available.

 

UK Energy Industry Calls for Reform in Clean Power Auctions to Support Emerging Technologies and Maximise Benefits  

In recent news, RenewableUK, Energy UK and Scottish Renewables, all distinguished trade associations within the energy sector, joined forces to call for urgent reforms to the government’s clean power auctions, known as Contracts for Difference. These trade associations addressed a joint letter of concern to Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, urging the government to make these critical adjustments.

In the letter, they highlighted the importance of taking a more comprehensive approach to determine the most effective ways to extract value from the auctions, beginning with Allocation Round 5 (AR5). They put forward numerous recommendations to on how to lower energy bills by maximising private investment in renewable technologies, whilst ensuring that there is growth in industrial supply chains.

In the letter, the trade associations suggested that the UK government should implement a range of measures to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy across the country. This included increasing the capacity of renewable energy auctions, expanding the scope of the Contracts for Difference Scheme, and providing more support for emerging technologies such as green hydrogen.

 

Report Shows Rapid Rise in UK Residential Solar Installations, Making Up 27% of Total Solar Capacity 

Solar technologies are becoming an increasingly popular form of energy. This type of technology converts sunlight into electrical energy through either photovoltaic (PV) panels or through mirrors that concentrate solar radiation.

This renewable technology has many benefits such as lower energy bills, a reduced carbon footprint and a reduced reliance on fossil fuels. Utilising solar technology in the home also increases the value of houses, making it more attractive to potential buyers.

According to a recent report by Energy Live News, residential solar installations in the UK have experienced a rapid rise, making up 27% of the country’s total solar capacity in 2022. The report shows that households have also contributed 73% of the solar capacity, indicating a positive growing trend towards solar energy in UK homes.

The significant increase in solar installations is likely due to the surging energy prices and skyrocketing electricity costs, alongside the fact that the cost of Solar PV panels and batteries have declined, making homeowners more likely to buy.

 

Corporate Net Zero Goals: Green Skilled Labour, Digitalisation and Technology Identified as Key Megatrends for the Next Decade  

The trends of green skilled labour, digitalisation, and technology are expected to play an instrumental role in shaping the future of businesses and achieving sustainability targets. These megatrends are expected to drive significant changes in the way we produce, consume and use energy, and will be critical in achieving net zero emissions goals by the year 2050.

The green job market is growing year on year, and the UK is currently ranked number one for the highest proportion of green job roles out of all postings at 33%. These green jobs include work within low-carbon sectors and corporate sustainability roles.

Green jobs are also on the rise globally. However, most firms, globally and in the UK, are not willing to train workers on the job. As a result, the only people fit for these green job roles are people with prior experience and a specialised skillset. In order to tackle this issue, policymakers, businesses and educational organisations need to take action. For example, by creating targeted and reskilling programmes and on-the-job training.

 

Industry Leaders Call for VAT Cut on Public Charging as UK Electric Vehicle Market Skyrockets

Electric vehicles are becoming an increasingly popular choice for car buyers. This is likely because of the positive impact on the environment, such as the reduction in carbon emissions, a decreased dependence on fossil fuels, and improved performance compared to petrol and diesel vehicles.

Electric vehicles are also beneficial in many other ways. These vehicles can make significant savings long-term as the cost of fuel and maintenance is reduced. Electric vehicles are considerably more energy-efficient than gasoline vehicles, meaning they use less energy to travel the same distance, resulting in lower fuel costs over time. Another advantage of these vehicles is that they produce significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional gasoline vehicles, which reduces air pollution and helps to combat climate change.

The numerous benefits of electric vehicles have contributed this surge in demand, and according to a new industry report, this market has grown by 39.4% in June 2023.

 

International Energy Agency Chief Predicts Soaring Energy Prices and Government Subsidies This Winter 

Sky-high energy prices should not be unexpected in the winter months later this year. The head of the International Energy Agency, Faith Birol, has warned that rising energy prices could lead to government intervention and subsidies to keep bills affordable for households and businesses.

Birol suggested that the prospect of a harsh winter and the increased demand for gas could lead to higher energy bills for consumers, due to the increased demand for heating. It is also suggested that governments should encourage energy conservation and promote the use of renewable energy sources.

Households may need to adopt some energy-saving practices to help save costs. These could include switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, turning off appliances when not in use, and insulating walls, ceilings, and floors to reduce heat loss.

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