UK government examines potential of low carbon technologies

Posted at August 18, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on UK government examines potential of low carbon technologies

The UK government yesterday published an analysis of the potential of three key low-carbon technologies to bring economic benefits to the country.

The Technology Innovation Needs Assessments (TINAs) look at marine energy, electricity networks and storage, and carbon capture and storage (CCS) and will “inform” the government’s investment in these sectors.

The analysis concludes that CCS could reduce costs in the country’s energy system by £10-45 billion between now and 2050, while potentially contributing a further £3-16 billion in economic value to the UK over the same period.

Electricity networks and storage could save a more modest £4-19 billion to 2050, but could play an important role supporting the uptake of renewable electricity generation, renewable heat and electric vehicles. This could help create business opportunities worth an estimated £6-34 billion for the UK’s GDP.

Meanwhile, although the UK has a significant natural resource in marine energy, generation costs will have to come down to £100/MWh by 2025 to be competitive with other technologies.

The TINA says this is “ambitious but possible with significant innovation” and, if successful, could save some £3-8 billion in energy costs and deliver £1-4 billion to GDP.

“This new analysis will help us better understand the value of these technologies to our growing green economy as well as the barriers to commercialisation, helping us put our available investment in the right place to spur on further innovation,” commented Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker.

Andrew Haslett, director of strategy at the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), which contributed to the analyses, adds:
“Tackling the challenge of affordability, sustainability and security relies on taking a pragmatic approach to energy technologies. We must focus on what is practical and that means finding solutions that work for both end users and investors.”

The analysis was undertaken by the Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group (LCICG), which brings together expertise from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Carbon Trust, the ETI, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and other organisations.

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Related stories:
UK government unveils £100 million fund for green investment (6-Aug)
Marine Energy Park launches in Scottish waters (2-Aug)
Green or growth is a false choice, says CBI (6-Jul)
UK reports 36% growth in renewables capacity in 12 months (2-Jul)

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