REA urges House of Lords to support Clean Energy in Energy Bill Debates

REA backs amendments to ensure market access for independent generators, drive forward energy storage and eliminate the landfilling of organic waste

The REA is urging the House of Lords to back Energy Bill amendments on three crucial issues when the Bill is debated on Monday 4th and Wednesday 6th November [1]:

- Market access for independent generators [2]
Amendments 60, 62, 64
Tabled by Lord Roper, Lord Jenkin of Roding and Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke
These amendments are designed to enable independent renewable generators to achieve the reference price for their power sales and compete with the major utilities. Up to 50% of the £110 billion of investment required to ensure energy security and decarbonisation objectives through to 2020 is expected to be delivered by independent generators.

- Energy storage [3]
Amendment 75
Tabled by Lord Stephen
This amendment commits the Government to developing an energy storage strategy to enable energy users to derive the maximum value from decentralised and intermittent renewable electricity e.g. from solar, wave and wind power.

- Eliminating waste to landfill [4]
Amendment 76
Tabled by Lord Judd
This amendment commits the Government to developing a strategy to phase out the landfilling of all organic wastes, so that their value for composting and energy generation can be realised while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Lords have already narrowly voted down the amendment to set a 2030 decarbonisation target next year. This makes successful passage of the amendments above, as well as Government backing for a 2030 renewable energy target, all the more crucial.

REA Chief Executive Dr Nina Skorupska said:

“The narrow defeat of the 2030 decarbonisation amendment is very disappointing. This means the Government must commit to a 2030 EU renewable energy target to demonstrate its long-term political will to the green economy.

“Improving market access for independent generators is critical to the Energy Bill’s success. Boosting competition by enabling independent generators to access the market is good for consumers and vital for British jobs and businesses. This is a real opportunity to do something to boost competitiveness at a time when competition in the market is under intense scrutiny.

“As the share of renewable electricity in the UK increases, the ability to store wind, wave and solar electricity generated at times of high supply or low demand, and deploy it at times of low supply or high demand, will become more and more important. Government must get ahead of the curve on energy storage.

“Finally, landfilling organic waste has no place in a green economy. There is a tremendous amount of value that can be derived from biowastes through composting and anaerobic digestion, both in terms of physical resource and business opportunities for the rural economy.”

The Renewable Energy Association represents renewable energy producers and promotes the use of all forms of renewable energy in the UK across power, heat, transport and renewable gas. It is the largest renewable trade association in the UK, with over 1,000 members, ranging from major multinationals to sole traders. For more information, see: www.r-e-a.net

1. The Energy Bill is now at Report Stage in the House of Lords, and will next be debated on Monday 4th and Wednesday 6th November. After Report Stage the Bill moves to Third reading in the House of Lords and consideration of Lords amendments by the House of Commons. Royal Assent is targeted (depending on the will of Parliament) for the end of 2013.

The ‘Marshalled List of Amendments to be Moved on Report’, including those remaining amendments backed by the REA, is available at: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2013-2014/0048/amend/ml048-I.htm

2. The REA is particularly concerned that the amendments to ensure market access for independent generators (60, 62, 64) are passed. Many independent generators cannot currently finance projects as they cannot find a bankable agreement to sell their power. Independent generators have historically provided 50% of renewables investment to date, and are forecast to provide up to 50% of the extra £110 billion investment in low carbon electricity required by 2020. Ensuring market access will enable the UK to realise the associated benefits from the creation of green jobs and investments, increased competition and environmental protection.

The Government has proposed to fix the problem with a proposal known as the ‘Offtaker of Last Resort’. This would make available a Power Purchase Agreement to developers unable to gain a bankable agreement in the market and who meet certain conditions. However, while we welcome Government taking steps to address the issue, there are several details of the policy which require improvement, particularly the need to ensure the mechanism works for all technologies and generators requiring access the scheme.

3. The REA also backs amendment 75, which requires the Government to set out a plan to support the development of an energy storage system, including targets for renewable energy storage capacity and pilot schemes. While renewable energy does not necessarily require storage systems to operate as part of the grid, Germany and other countries are already seeing the advantages of storage to make renewable capacity even more flexible in terms of its contribution.

4. The REA is also urging Lords to vote in favour of amendment 76, which requires the Secretary of State to draw up a strategy to phase out all compostable materials being sent to landfill. This would result in lower greenhouse gas emissions (as such materials emit the powerful greenhouse gas methane when disposed of in landfill) and spur the development of renewable technologies to handle the materials, such as anaerobic digestion.

Source: REA

For more information on: REA