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Major report demands energy rethink

Wednesday 26 November 2008

wind energyA major new report released this week on energy use in the UK has revealed that the drive towards sustainable power is being ‘hampered’ by outmoded ways of thinking. The ‘Powering Our Lives’ study from Foresight, the Government’s futures think tank, investigated the UK’s buildings and ways in which to cut their carbon emissions. The established energy infrastructure and costs associated with moving to new forms has resulted in the country being ‘locked-in’ to certain types of energy, says the CLG-sponsored report.

“The energy used to power buildings is responsible for over 50% of UK carbon emissions,” said Professor John Beddington. “We need to think again about how we produce and use energy and this report explores the link between the energy we use to power our lives and the places we use it in.”

Three areas of action are identified in the study as ways in which the situation can be improved, including the upgrading buildings and paces, moving to decentralised energy systems and human behaviours in the built environment.

“Homes in the future will be more carbon neutral, however the vast majority of buildings pre-date our awareness of emissions and climate change – these are where quick-wins can be achieved,” added Prof. Beddington.

“Today’s report provides valuable advice on the roles both Government and the general public can play in tackling one of the most pressing issues facing the entire world,” added Margaret Beckett, Minister for Housing, and the report’s ministerial sponsor.

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