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Budget 2017: War on Plastic and Diesel but Apathy for Renewables
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The government chose to focus its attention on plastics and diesel vehicles in the Autumn Budget yesterday. Whilst the Chancellor promised more funds to incentivise the uptake of electric vehicles, higher duty for diesel cars as well as measures to tackle the scourge of plastic, it is disappointing that there appears to be apathy toward renewable energy. The Chancellor confirmed there would be no fresh funds for new renewable energy projects levied through electricity bills until 2025 to help keep...

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Cost of Energy Review – Will UK Lead the World on Carbon Tax?
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Professor Dieter Helm’s independent Cost of Energy Review has been published. The review, which was commissioned by the Government, has sparked much debate from praise for its technology neutral, free market approach to dismay at his recommendation to abolish the Contacts for Difference auction scheme that is claimed have been responsible for halving offshore wind costs in a matter of years. It is of little surprise that the report finds that the cost of energy to the consumer is...

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Significant Threat from Delays in Reform for Renewable Heat Incentive
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The latest announcement of more delays to the reform of UK renewable heat policy have been condemned as a significant threat to the country's long-term climate ambitions. The UK has faced numerous warnings that it will miss its 2020 renewable heat target unless major policy improvements are quickly enforced. It is therefore no surprise that the delay of plans to reform the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) until 2018 is being seen as a significant blow. The bill was initially due...

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Mainstreaming Energy Efficiency – BEIS Consults on Carbon Reporting through Company Accounts
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The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has finally launched the consultation on Streamlined Energy & Carbon Reporting. Since the announcement in March 2016 that the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) would be scrapped in 2019 and an uplift Climate Change Levy (CCL) would replace the treasury funding, the future landscape of energy reporting has been a hotly debated topic. In a surprise move, the Government has announced it is considering the introduction of mandatory annual reporting and disclosure...

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Tackling Construction Pollution: Statistics Support the Need for Bold Action
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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has written to Defra to ask the Government for greater powers to tackle construction pollution, as industry experts call for urgent action to improve the state of sustainability in the UK built environment. With half of the capital’s air pollution caused by non-transport sources, Mr Khan has requested new powers to implement a hard-hitting plan of action that combats emissions produced from machinery and the domestic burning of solid fuels. With more than...

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New Measures to Drive Investment in Clean Growth and Greater Climate Change Reporting
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The UK government has announced new measures to accelerate investment in clean growth with a Green Finance Taskforce. The transition to a low carbon economy needs a multi-billion pound investment and is a key element of the government’s industrial strategy. It asserts that a strong economy and consistent efforts to tackle climate change must go hand in hand if the UK is to become a global hub for investment in clean growth and, in order to succeed, it needs...

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Gove Promises Gold Standard Policies In ‘Green’ Brexit
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Environment Secretary Michael Gove has asserted that the UK is presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity to become global leaders on environmental management as part of a vow to deliver a ‘green’ Brexit. In one of his first major speeches as Environment Secretary, Gove has pledged to reform the common agricultural policy (CAP) to a system built on rigorous scientific analysis. Gove believes that leaving the EU gives the UK the opportunity to reform how it manages climate...

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Is It Time To Stop Exemption for Energy Intensive Industry Renewable Costs?
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The Government has made a move toward giving exemptions from some of the costs associated with renewable energy policies to Britain's most energy-intensive industries. The move has ignited a debate over whether such a move is needed for the growth of green business. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has confirmed that it intended to push ahead with plans to make businesses operating in areas such as heavy manufacturing and mining exempt from paying the Renewables...

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New Smart Meter Bill: Consumers Lose Out Yet Again!
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The Smart Meter Bill, contained within the Queen’s speech, purports to reinforce the requirement on suppliers to install a smart meter to all household and business energy meters by 2020. The new bill however introduces two changes: It extends the government’s powers to make changes to smart meter regulations by five years to ensure that the rollout is delivered effectively; and introduces a Special Administration Regime to ensure the continuing operation of the national smart meter service if a...

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Act Now – ESOS Phase 2 Compliance is a Win-Win Opportunity
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The second phase of the UK Government's Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), which requires all large businesses to produce reports on energy use and efficiency every four years, is now underway. There had been some speculation that ESOS would be discontinued after the UK general election, having been placed under consideration by the previous Government’s 2015 energy efficiency tax landscape review. Brexit had also led businesses to question ESOS, as the scheme was brought in as part of the...

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