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UK Carbon Reduction Commitment Comes Into Force Amid ‘Confusion’
11/05/2010, 8:54 pm
Filed under: Green Build

The UK Government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC EES), which requires large public and private sector organisations to improve energy efficiency, comes into forces today amid ‘confusion’.

Under the scheme, around 5000 organisations will be required to monitor and record their emissions. Participants in the scheme will have to purchase emission allowances, but will receive the purchase price back plus a bonus if they improve their efficiency. But those organisations that fail to improve will be penalised. But nearly half of the businesses affected by the CRC EES don’t know how to forecast their CO2 emissions or purchase carbon allowances, according to npower’s annual survey, the Business Energy Index (nBEI), published yesterday.

The Government has fixed allowances at £12 per tonne of CO2 initially, but businesses that fail to buy enough will have to top them up under the scheme’s safety valve’ mechanism or on the open market at a higher price. The survey also finds that 44% of survey respondents have no plans to take advantage of the scheme’s ‘early action’ incentives, which reward participants to installing measures such as smart meters quickly.

But the economic downturn could be an aide to the scheme, with nearly 70% of businesses surveyed saying that they are likely to install energy efficiency measures over the coming year in a bid to reduce costs. The Government maintains that the scheme will drive down CO2 emissions by at least 4.4 million tonnes a year by 2020 and save participating organisations a total of around £1 billion in annual energy costs.

Recently, the Government also unveiled plans setting out how each department will reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. The Carbon Reduction Delivery and Adaptation Plans cover all aspects of government department policies, operations and estates.

For further information go to


A report by the European Renewable Energy Council explains how the European Union could switch to a 100% renewable energy supply for electricity, heating and cooling and transport by 2050.
The report, Re-thinking 2050, launched earlier this week in the European Parliament examines how the EU’s carbon emissions could be cut by more than 90% by switching to 100% renewables, and provides a roadmap for achieving this with the different available technologies. The report concludes that the economic and social costs of achieving the switch significantly outweigh the investment involved.
Renewable electricity, particularly from wind and PV is expected to be the highest contributor to achieving the target, with an increase from 10% renewables in 2020 to 41% by 2050 predicted by EREC. Heating and cooling will continue to be the biggest sector in terms of final energy demand, but use of renewables in this sector could increase from 21% in 2020 to 45% in 2050 according to the report.
Transport however, remains a challenge, though even here significant shifts from 3% renewables in 2020 to around 10% in 2050 are feasible, claims EREC.
Europe can move to low-carbon energy sources without risking reliable supply or increasing bills for consumers, according to a new report.

The European Climate Foundation (ECF), in collaboration with other experts including McKinsey, Imperial College London and Oxford Economics, says that cost-effective low- or zero-carbon power is feasible without relying on future technology breakthroughs. The report, Roadmap 2050: a practical guide to a prosperous, low-carbon Europe, claims that an energy supply for Europe based largely on renewables would not suffer from reliability issues and would have little impact on the cost of producing electricity over the next 40 years.

Many of the widely held assumptions about low- or zero-carbon energy supply, such as high cost and intermittency, are outdated, says the report. Low- or zero-carbon energy supplies may require higher capital investment, for example, but have lower long-term operating costs. The report looks at a range of scenarios with varying levels of renewables, with nuclear and fossil fuel power stations fitted with carbon capture and storage technology making up the remainder.

All the scenarios are possible, says the report, but higher levels of renewables will rely the UK and other EU member states instigating energy efficiency measures to reduce demand and supporting the development of a European electricity ‘supergrid’. There also has to be a major investment drive for low-carbon technologies and the phasing out of high-carbon options, of course, but the potential benefits massively outweigh the challenges, says the report.

For further information go to

The Road to Zero Carbon – Tuesday 15th June 2010

A major one-day conference on low and zero carbon buildings.

9.30am – 4.30pm

The Town Hall, Reading, Berkshire.

Fee: £180 plus vat (£211.50)

This is another opportunity to attend this highly rated conference which first ran in Bristol in February.

The construction and use of buildings contribute nearly half of the UK’s CO2 emissions, which the UK has a legally binding target to reduce to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. As a result the Government has set targets to significantly reduce the greenhouse emissions from all buildings.

All new buildings will need to be zero carbon within a decade as Building Regulations progressively tighten, starting with a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions for all new buildings in October 2010, while CO2 emissions from existing buildings need to be approaching zero by 2050.

We are seeing a move from demonstration projects, such as those at the BRE Innovation Park, to an increasing number of real world low and zero carbon buildings being built, demonstrating that, contrary to claims it is too expensive or can’t be done, it is possible to achieve significant reductions in carbon emissions from buildings.

This conference will showcase some of the best of these real world low and zero carbon projects, with a strong focus on the steps and measures taken to achieve these reductions in CO2 and the impact it had on the construction process. Delegates will be provided with a unique opportunity to learn from those at the leading edge of compliance with this fast approaching standard.

The conference is targeted at the construction sector in its broadest sense, including the construction industry & professionals, such as architects, designers, surveyors & engineers, developers, housebuilders, construction firms & builders, housing associations, consultants, clients, local authority officers & councillors, regional & national government & agencies

This conference is one of a series of events organised by Ecos Trust

To book, visit the seminars and conferences pages at Or contact Corina 01458 254349.

hatip AECB

5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

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Comment by business carbon reduction

Information about the different kind of renewable energy.

Comment by GreenEnergy

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Comment by Creellwrory

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Comment by Alan

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