Government must seize chance to green UK electricity

Reforming the UK’s electricity market is a once-in-a-generation chance to avoid locking us into a dangerous, high-carbon future, warns Friends of the Earth, the day before Government publishes a consultation on the proposed changes.


The environmental campaigning charity is calling for the shake-up to decarbonise the country’s power sector by at least 90 per cent by 2030 – and says producing more green electricity is essential for the UK to play its full part in tackling climate change.


Currently, around 30 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions are from electricity generation and demand is expected to rise sharply in coming years, as we shift from using oil to electricity to power things from trains and cars to homes.


Friends of the Earth is calling for electricity market reform to ensure the power sector is decarbonised by 2030, through measures including:


**An ever-tightening cap on carbon dioxide emissions from polluting coal and gas-fired power stations
**Helping reduce overall demand for electricity, through measures such as making homes more energy efficient and encouraging people to use ‘smart meters’
**Clear assurances for investors to create market certainty and boost new renewable electricity
**Enabling more renewable electricity generation, particularly decentralised and community-owned, by improving access to transmission and distribution networks
**Creating a European ‘super-grid’ allowing electricity to be shared more easily.


Friends of the Earth’s Senior Climate Change Campaigner Tony Bosworth said:  “This reform is a once-in-a-generation chance to set energy policy for the next 20 years – it’s crucial the Government makes the right decisions to ensure renewable power thrives instead of locking us into a dangerous high-carbon world.


“The Government must make it cheaper and easier for communities to save money by generating their own green electricity locally.


“The future is electric – and harnessing the UK’s massive potential to produce much more green electricity will create jobs, reduce our reliance on overseas oil and help us slash climate-changing emissions.”

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16 Dec 2010

By Friends of the Earth