The DTI published the Energy White Paper on 23 May 2007. The White Paper consists of 11 chapters on energy security and climate change; saving energy; heat and distributed generation; oil, gas and coal; electricity generation (including renewables, carbon capture and storage for fossil fuels, and nuclear power); research and development; transport; planning; devolved administrations; impact of the measures and the implementation process. The White Paper also contains four annexes on the progress towards the 2003 energy policy goals; a summary on energy and carbon emissions; the UK position on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and further consultations on nuclear power, and other items. It is supported by a number of energy related documents.
The White Paper sets out the Government’s international and domestic energy strategy to respond to the two main energy challenges of climate change and energy security. The Paper acknowledges the evolving nature of the challenges in:
- the growing evidence of the impact of climate change and wider international recognition that there needs to be a concerted global effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide;
- rising fossil fuel prices and slower than expected liberalisation of EU energy markets at a time when the UK is increasingly relying on imported energy;
- heightened awareness of the risks arising from the concentration of the world’s remaining oil and gas reserves in fewer regions around the world, namely the Middle East and North Africa, and Russia and Central Asia;
- in the UK, companies will need to make substantial new investment in power stations, the electricity grid, and gas infrastructure.
The framework in which to address the above challenges is mainly based on the four energy policy goals of the 2003 Energy White Paper; i.e.:
- to put the UK on a path to cutting CO2 emissions by some 60% by about 2050, with real progress by 2020;
- to maintain the reliability of energy supplies;
- to promote competitive markets in the UK and beyond;
- to ensure that every home is adequately and affordably heated.
The White Paper also reiterates the various activities relating to the four energy goals which were carried out before its publication on 23 May 2007, including:
- the publication of the revised UK Climate Change Programme (28 March 2006); the publication of the Energy Review Report 'The Energy Challenge' (July 2006); the establishment of the Office of Climate Change (OCC) (October 2006); publication of the Stern Review of the economics of climate change (October 2006); the acceptance in December 2006 by the European Commission of the UK’s National Allocation Plan (NAP) for the second phase of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (2008 – 2012); and the publication by the European Commission of the Strategic Energy Review (January 2007); and
- the completion of the Langeled and BBL pipelines allowing increased flows of Norwegian and Continental gas to the UK and easing the winter supply concerns; and continued investment in renewable energy sources to help meet the UK's 2010 target of 10% of electricity coming from renewable sources of energy.
The White Paper maps out the implementation process of the measures encapsulated in the Energy Review Report (2006), the Pre-Budget Report (2006) and the 2007 Budget. The White Paper also invites further public consultation on various measures including nuclear power, the Renewables Obligation and guidance on the 1965 Gas Act.
A number of documents are annexed to the White Paper including the fourth annual report on progress towards the 2003 Energy White Paper goals; a summary of updated energy and carbon emissions projections; the UK position on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme; and various consultations in relation to the White Paper.
See the Energy White Paper at http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/whitepaper
For more information on political developments please subscribe to the Shepherd and Wedderburn Parlimentary E-bulletin
01224 343 557