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AECB demands value for money | Europe

AECB demands value for money

The AECB, the sustainable building association, calls on the government to stop wasting £ billions of consumers' and taxpayers' money on a 'green energy' strategy that delivers neither value for money nor energy security. Instead it should focus on the cheap and even free green alternatives that are being ignored or sidelined.

AECB challenges the government and the energy industry to show the value for money behind the 'electricity generation first' vision for a low-carbon future, and to assess other options on a level playing field.

While AECB has long maintained that renewable generation should be central to providing the essential electricity a modern economy requires, electricity is expensive, and should not be squandered. The Association wants to see every green technology supported on its merits - yet says the Association, some approaches are unfairly disadvantaged.

On the government's own admission, AECB points out, properly insulating buildings saves ten times more greenhouse gas emissions per £ spent than the current Feed-in Tariff (FiT) for renewable electricity - and will still offer five times the abatement per £, even if the tariff is cut as predicted[1].

Research by the AECB for a forthcoming report[2] also indicates that:

? Insulating UK buildings - the worst-constructed in central or northern Europe - offers the same carbon and energy benefit as building offshore wind turbines, and at around a fifth the cost.
? Nationwide energy efficiency drives; e.g., upgrading lighting systems, could abate climate change at a profit. Only changes to utility regulation are needed to make it happen. The technology is already there.
? Energy consumers are being told to finance a vast increase in electricity generation and transmission, but if demand was cut few of these new power stations would be needed. An energy-efficient future could cut consumers' electricity bills, not raise them.
? An "all-electric future" as currently proposed risks having too little energy storage to buffer the ups and downs of renewable energy supply and demand, posing increased risks that we cannot "keep the lights on".

As AECB's chief executive Andrew Simmonds explains: "The AECB absolutely backs the government's ambition to cut 80% of emissions by 2050. Indeed, we would like to see emissions cuts go further. What worries us is that the strategy options on offer from the government appear neither practical nor secure, and do not offer the cheapest way to get to where we need to be by 2050. In a time of swingeing austerity, that is extraordinary."

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Posted by Gloria Llopis | 2011-11-07