The power sector, the largest source of UK emissions, must be largely decarbonised by 2030 if the UK is to reduce emissions consistent with its statutory carbon budgets. A low-carbon power sector is also important to enable the decarbonisation of the transport and heating sectors (the second and third largest sources of UK emissions, respectively) through their electrification.
EU countries and other major greenhouse gas emitters also have targets to decarbonise their power sectors over the coming decades.
The Institute leads research on the policy regime, low-carbon technologies and grid upgrades required to facilitate electricity sector decarbonisation, and its potential to unlock growth and innovation opportunities.
Publications and commentaries:
This brief summarises the final findings and recommendations from the Statkraft research programme exploring key issues in the EU’s transition to a low-carbon economy, focusing on the power sector and sectors that fall outside the EU emissions trading system. read more »
This report assesses the credibility of EU member states’ efforts to decarbonise the power sector – with credibility of policy commitments defined as ‘the likelihood that policymakers will keep their promises to implement the pledges or policies they announce’. read more »
Credible, effective and publicly acceptable policies to decarbonise the European Union: Final report
This report investigates the extent to which current policies and institutional arrangements are fit for purpose for the new decarbonisation phase into which the EU is entering. It summarises the main findings from the Statkraft research programme. read more »
Professor Dieter Helm’s Cost of Energy review was greeted in parts of the press with headlines like “excessive green taxes force up energy bills”. Sam Fankhauser analyses the review in the context of UK efforts to tackle climate change. read more »
This paper simulates the distributional consequences of alternative carbon emission reduction policies on power producers and finds that that a carbon tax outperforms all other instruments and does not reduce the profits of carbon-free generators. read more »
Energy is needed for economic growth, and access to cheap, reliable energy is an essential development objective. However, in the future access to fossil fuel-based energy will need to be … read more »
It is vitally important that the public debate about the UK’s options for managing the risks of climate change is based on reliable and authoritative information about the costs. Unfortunately, … read more »
A cost-effective balance between taxes on fossil fuel pollution and support for cleaner alternatives
There is a danger that the current tinkering to subsidies and taxes affecting renewables in the UK will result in incoherence that will hinder efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. read more »
The British Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme, which launched in April 2010, pays £500 million each year to the owners of small scale renewable energy installations for the clean … read more »
Private investors need to be persuaded to spend billions of pounds to create a cleaner and more efficient power sector for the UK. The Times – subscription is required.
The economics of wind power: submission to the inquiry by the House of Commons Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change
Samuela Bassi and Sam Fankhauser
Financial Times – registration is required.
This policy brief investigates the extent to which onshore wind can contribute to future electricity generation, whether there are technological constraints, what the economic costs are and what the … read more »
This paper identifies practical lessons for policy makers that seek to decarbonise their economies, drawing primarily on the UK experience. There are five main conclusions. First, decarbonisation needs a … read more »