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CIC Response to Energy Consultation

Posted: 24th May 2006

In its response to the recent Government energy consultation, “Our Energy Challenge: Securing Clean, Affordable Energy for the Long Term” CIC has proposed that an ‘Energy Hierarchy’ should be adopted.

CIC is committed to the efficient use of energy and resources to counter the threat of climate change and to help sustainable living. However, the organisation believes that progress on the Government’s energy goals needs to be made more urgent. In order to achieve this, Government will need to commit explicitly to an “Energy Hierarchy” which places greater emphasis on energy efficiency and conservation, while aiming to phase out the more unsustainable technologies and energy sources.

CIC is of the firm opinion that enormous technological potential exists to improve energy management and reduce emissions on both the supply and the demand side, but that policy intervention will be required to create a sustainable market for it.

A clear vision from Government, expressed as stable and consistent policies are key to establishing more responsive market mechanisms. To underpin that vision, there needs to be improved support for innovation, to ensure that national research efforts lead to commercially viable industries and that older technologies do not distract investment from innovation and new technologies.

CIC considers that a sustainable energy policy requires a clear set of priorities which awards due importance to the management of energy transformation and use. The adoption of an “Energy Hierarchy” is proposed which offers a consistent approach to the management of energy demand and supply and recognises the need for effective use of energy as a valuable resource to combat climate change.
The Energy Hierarchy:

• Energy Conservation (reducing total energy demand) – good design can reduce demand, via better fabric performance, use of natural energy, etc and through compact urban form, supporting lower transport fuel use.
• Energy Efficiency – minimising the carbon footprint of the energy used within a property – this includes the utilisation of combined heat and power which vastly increases the efficiency of generation from fossil fuels and similarly reduces CO2 emissions e.g. Woking project 60% reduction in CO2.
• Exploitation of Renewable, Sustainable Resources – clean energy from wind, wave and sun etc.
• Exploitation of Non-Sustainable Resources using Low/No-Carbon Technologies – including nuclear generation and the sequestration of CO2 from fossil fuel, as they both do vast collateral environmental damage.
• Exploitation of Non Sustainable Resources using Traditional Technologies – as we do now.