The Content view: What do we want from the key parties at Conference?
For a while now, the UK political landscape has been dominated by Brexit.
From many perspectives, this is an understandable, but unrewarding situation. For as every day passes, we miss pushing low carbon higher up the agenda.
The Labour and Conservative conferences come amid stunning news on the UK environment. The Independent reports that more than half of UK electricity came from low carbon sources over the last 3 months.
It’s a truly breath-taking achievement, from a country that led the fossil fuel Industrial Revolution; we are now sowing the seeds of an entirely different type of growth.
What are the details of the last 3 months of UK power?
The notable headline is that average carbon dioxide emissions for each unit of power fell by more than half (56%) between summer 2013 and 2017.
Behind those numbers, from 21 June to 22 September, almost 52% of electricity generation was from sources ranging from renewables, such as solar and wind, to nuclear power, up from 35% for the same period just four years ago.
Almost a quarter of power generation (24%) came from renewables this summer, up from just 9% 4 years ago, and a fifth (19.5%) last year.
Intriguingly, as it revealed the figures, National Grid is launching new software that forecasts carbon intensity; how much carbon emissions are caused by each unit of power of electricity generation up 2 days ahead.
Reading between the lines, this development is likely there to help with the new flexible grid, and grow interest and planning in terms of its functionality with Demand Side Response (DSR).
Duncan Burt, Director of the System Operator National Grid, hints as much, telling The Independent: “Clear and concise information that can tell you in advance when’s best to turn on the washing machine, load the dishwasher or charge your car for example, is a step in the right direction towards a low carbon future.
“This technology puts people at the heart of it, helping everyone to use power when it’s greenest, and likely, more cost efficient.”
What should the main parties be saying at Conference?
So, we have the incredible news on our hastening decarbonisation. We have the words from National Grid on how exciting change is coming.
Will any of the main parties actually mention this at Conference? If they do pick up on the news, what will they say?
“They should directly and unequivocally call for more support for low carbon,” says Jo Watchman, Managing Director, Content Coms.
“They just can’t ignore news like this. They have to follow it, track it, react to and understand the implications.”
But will they? At Content Coms we will analyse the Conferences, and report back for you on whether the hoped for low carbon acknowledgement ever came.
Content Coms is one of the UK’s leading B2B communications consultancies specialising in the energy, low carbon and technology sectors. If you’ve enjoyed our article, how about reading more of our energy policy news and analysis?