I posted on the ‘Gas Strategy’ a little while ago – you know, the one that plonks 37GW of new gas plant running at full tilt onto the grid over the next decade or so instead of the much more restrained DECC ‘official’ line that we would need 19GW of new gas plant over the same period running aty about 20% of capacity.
I suggested at the time that someone (probably not a million miles form no 11 Downing Street) might have inserted a ‘box’ into the strategy setting out how the Government might use the 2014 review of the carbon budget to junk emission targets and carbon budgets. I was wrong. Actually what seems to have happened is that someone has used the exact words of DECC itself in the Departmental White Paper on Energy (which suggested, in outline that if we’re out of line with what is happening in Europe concerning their targets we will revise our trajectory downwards to align ourselves with them). I leave you to spot the little weasel word that makes all the difference… and it does somewhat underline the case that a firm target for power sector emissions by 2030 set sooner rather than later is rather important.
Planning our electric future – Energy White Paper July 2011 p.30
The Government will review progress towards the EU emissions goal in early 2014. If at that point our domestic commitments place us on a different emissions trajectory than the ETS trajectory agreed by the EU, we propose, (depending on advice from the Committee on Climate Change and the views of the Devolved Administrations), to revise our budget to align it with the actual EU trajectory.
Gas Generation Strategy December 2012 p.22
We will review our progress in early 2014 and if, at that point, our domestic commitments place us on a different trajectory from the one agreed by our partners in the EU under the ETS, we will revise up our budget as appropriate to align it with the actual EU trajectory. Before seeking Parliamentary approval to amend the level of the 4th Carbon Budget, the Government will take into account the advice of the Committee on Climate Change, legal requirements in the Climate Change Act and any representations made by the Devolved Administrations.