Select Committee on Environmental Audit Written Evidence

Memorandum submitted by Anthony Powell

  1.  I'm taking the energy industry as a whole, because it all emits CO2 and CO2 is what were trying to cut. My submission relates to the first part of your question 2: What are the main investment options for electricity generating capacity?

  2.  The cheapest option is to cut demand. Substitute air travel for rail and coach; promote the UK for our holidays. Cut car weights and the need for them. Reduce speed limits, thereby also encouraging other transport modes. Introduce Domestic Energy Quotas (like Domestic Tradable Quotas, but use them when paying for any energy—fossil or renewable—and any non-local travel). All new buildings should be low or zero carbon. Bring Carbon Trading to all businesses. Encourage local sustainability in order to reduce transport needs.

  3.  That should knock a serious hole in our energy consumption. We might stand a chance of meeting the rest from renewable sources.

  4.  Starting with information from the DTI leaflet "UK Energy Flows 2001":

  5.  The Energy Review, under its Global Sustainability scenario, assumed for 2050 an energy use of about 150 mtoe of which 50 mtoe was renewables, the rest gas and oil. The above table shows it can be done with less gas and oil—but either needs the concerted effort of the whole Team UK. Domestic Energy Quotas could get everyone on board.

  6.  After cutting needless activities and employing energy efficiency, we should look at renewable energy. Passive solar, heat pumps and wood-burning are perhaps the most cost effective small-scale, especially when designed into buildings. Other technologies are best left for larger schemes, not micro-generation: probably locally owned rather than large-scale controversial. Rooftop PV will be more economic if many rooftops feed into a common grid access.

  7.  Next option is clean fossil fuel, and last resort (as I fear the terrorist risk, and would hate to pass on radioactive material onto future generations) nuclear.

21 September 2005

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2006
Prepared 16 April 2006