Ofgem supports green innovation with new fund, as efforts to improve UK housing dropout Business News

Eeveryone is worried about the cost of reducing carbon dioxide emissions to reach net zero. A multitude of bets are placed on innovation rather than determining who, exactly, will foot the bill.

Ofgem, the energy regulator, is the latest body to release funds to try to innovate in part to meet UK climate goals. On Tuesday he announced he was offering £ 450million to help fund ‘big, bold and ambitious’ ideas that could help the UK’s carbon reduction targets become a reality.

Ofgem will target the money on solutions to four major challenges: heat, transport, data and digitization, and ‘whole system integration’. System integration is the effort to better combat the monitoring and waste of energy as it travels through the energy grid to homes and businesses.

The fund will be available for the next five years, but could be extended under the right circumstances, Ofgem said.

Jonathan Brearley, Chief Executive Officer of Ofgem, said: “What we need, more than ever, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net zero is innovation.

“The Strategic Innovation Fund means cutting edge ideas and new technology become a reality, helping us find greener ways to travel and to heat and power Britain on a low cost. “

Yet while innovation remains a key part of building an effective net zero strategy, to fully reduce emissions by 2050, there are other difficult choices for the energy industry to make. within the limits of existing technology. These include basic steps such as better insulation.

Poorly insulated homes account for around 14% of the UK’s carbon emissions, according to Climate Change Committee figures produced in 2019. Higher levels of working from home, due to pandemic restrictions have added the amount of carbon created using energy at home.

A new heating and building strategy is due to be released next month, with the Telegraph reporting last week that it will likely require boiler makers to step up production of electric heat pumps. Even though Kwasi Kwarteng, Minister of Business and Energy admitted in an interview with the same newspaper that the pumps were worse than traditional boilers today.

Ofgem’s innovation fund and new strategy are set to land as part of a deeper review of UK energy-saving efforts ahead of the COP26 climate conference.

It also follows a series of unsuccessful government-linked efforts to encourage households to install energy-efficient home improvements to improve the climate profile of Britain’s housing stock. The most recent example is the removal of the government’s flagship program, Green Home Grants Scheme, of a £ 1.5 billion scheme, which was supposed to provide households with £ 5,000 or £ 10,000 to install low carbon insulation or heating after just six months.

Cessation of the program again leaves households, other than the poorest, with little or no government support to install energy efficient home improvements. These type of installations can come with significant upfront costs, even though they save money over time with lower energy bills.

The CCC said in its June assessment of government efforts that heat pumps were installed in 5% of new homes in 2020, far behind the 20% level required for this year according to its calculations. Meanwhile, attic and solid wall insulation installations “are only a third of the rate needed by 2021,” he said.

He also criticized the government’s suggestions that technology, rather than behavioral change and investment, could solve the UK’s problem of reducing carbon emissions.

Members of the Environmental Audit Committee also criticized the government’s approach to the “colossal task” of improving home energy efficiency in March of this year: “There is a chronic skills shortage in the construction industry. home renovation. The industry has been plagued by stop-start policy and spending decisions and the government must set long-term goals, with appropriate support mechanisms over several years, to give businesses certainty and not change goals along the way. “

Thus, if the Ofgem fund has great ambitions, like a panoply of efforts based on innovation, it risks masking the problem of knowing who will pay overall for energy efficiency. According to Energy Minister Lord Callanan, the announcement of Ofgem’s fund is a sign of how innovation can help keep energy affordable: “UK is the world leader in decarbonization our energy system, our innovators playing a vital role consumers receive clean and affordable energy.

He added, “The Strategic Innovation Fund will ensure that the best projects and the most talented minds have the grants available to reduce carbon emissions and allow billpayers to see the benefits of greener reconstruction. “

Yet while the fund may spur brilliant ideas and upgrading power infrastructure from plant to outlet is essential, someone will also have to pay for a new technology to become a reality on a large scale. A clever idea to make …

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This notice was published: 2021-08-31 06:06:27

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