In this week’s readers’ Q&A session, James Cameron, vice chairman of Climate Change Capital, answers your questions.
In this second post, he tackles renewable heat, biofuels and carbon regulation.
Earlier, he discussed how discredited the European emissions trading scheme is and what the jump in oil prices means for renewables.
Next in the hotseat is Josh Fox, the Oscar-nominated director of the environmental film Gasland. He will be answering your questions next Friday, February 11th. Send in your questions for consideration by the end of Sunday, February 6th to firstname.lastname@example.org.
But for now, over to James:
The chancellor has stopped speaking and the figures are in. But did the experts to whom this blog spoke earlier get what they wanted? Here are their responses.
George Osborne did not spend much time talking about the energy industry today, but the spending review contained some important new figures and policies. Here, then is the spending review – as far as it effects the energy industry – in numbers.
The amount to be spent on the UK’s CCS demonstration.
To be spent on developing new green technology, including offshore wind and developing port infrastructure.
To be spent on funding the green investment bank.
Average yearly fall in the DECC budget.
Average yearly fall in the Defra budget.
The amount being spent on the renewable heat incentive over the next four years.
The fall in feed-in tariffs planned for 2012 – the same as planned by the previous government.
It’s the big day. Finally we see what the UK government’s spending plans are going to look like over the next four years. But what will George Osborne’s announcement mean for the energy industry? We asked a group of experts, industry insiders and campaigners to give us their view on the main things they want to hear from the chancellor. Here’s what they said:
Chris Huhne, the UK energy secretary, stands up to speak to the Liberal Democrat party conference this afternoon. But his audience stretches far beyond a convention centre in Liverpool. The energy industry will be watching, and here is what they want to hear:
Roger Salomone, energy adviser at EEF, the manufacturers association – Nuclear power
A strong reassurance that the coalition is going to push the role of nuclear power and build the right kind of business environment for that. If he demonstrated his commitment to nuclear in front of the Lib Dems, who are the most hostile, that would be a very strong signal.
NB – Salomone’s point about resistance from within the party is going to become clear today in a speech by Simon Hughes, the deputy leader, who will urge Huhne to oppose nuclear power, as my colleague Jim Pickard wites here.
Green groups are worried that one casualty of the autumn spending review will be the “feed-in tariff” that allows anyone generating alternative energy to sell it back to the grid. It’s not that they believe the coalition would scrap it, given their various commitments to the agenda.
But they fear it could be delayed or watered down by Chris Huhne, Lib Dem energy secretary, under pressure from the Treasury. Ditto the Renewable Heat Incentive (a similar payment for producing alternative heat).
One figure from Friends of the Earth tells me that is is “absurd” for the Treasury to be reviewing the scheme given that it’s financed by public consumers rather than the government.