In its official response sent to ministers next week, the UEA-based Community Carbon Reduction Programme (CRed) argues that the only way to make significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions is by embarking on a major drive to cut waste, reduce demand and increase focus on innovation and renewable energy.
A resource efficient economy based on distributed and local power generation would be far cheaper than building new generating capacity, particularly nuclear power. It would also be more secure and resilient to fossil fuel price and supply shocks.
CRed's response says that long-term energy supply must depend primarily on renewables that can provide energy at all scales down to a single building. The cost of renewable energy is falling and will continue to fall, whereas the price of fossil fuels will continue to rise. This is already understood by the market-place and installed wind power capacity, for example, has grown by 28 per cent worldwide year on year from 2000 to 2004.
Dr Bruce Tofield, one of the authors of CRed's response, said: "A perverse consequence of the Government's energy market liberalisation was an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Low energy prices in the UK have encouraged waste of energy and created little incentive to seek greater resource efficiency. Not only does this policy prevent the UK reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, but when fossil fuel prices rise, as they are already doing, households and businesses are ill-equipped to cope.
Marcus Armes, co-author of the CRed response, added: "2006 is a propitious time for the UK to make a major shift in energy policy to create leadership in resource efficiency and an energy supply portfolio that brings delocalised renewable power to millions of homes. CRed has consistently observed that individua
Contact: Marcus Armes
University of East Anglia