Clean energy

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:

Decarbonising the European Union credibly, effectively and acceptably

Decarbonising the European Union credibly, effectively and acceptably

a briefing note by Samuela Bassi, Maria Carvalho, Baran Doda, Sam Fankhauser  5 December, 2017

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 »


The credibility of the European Union’s efforts to decarbonise the power sector

The credibility of the European Union’s efforts to decarbonise the power sector

a policy report by Samuela Bassi, Alina Averchenkova, Maria Carvalho  5 December, 2017

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

Credible, effective and publicly acceptable policies to decarbonise the European Union: Final report

a policy report by Samuela Bassi, Maria Carvalho, Baran Doda, Sam Fankhauser  5 December, 2017

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 »


What does the Helm Review teach us about climate policy?

a commentary by Sam Fankhauser  27 October, 2017

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 »


Energy policy and the power sector in the long run

Energy policy and the power sector in the long run

a working paper by Baran Doda, Sam Fankhauser  26 September, 2017

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 »


Economic growth and development with low-carbon energy

Economic growth and development with low-carbon energy

a working paper by Sam Fankhauser, Frank Jotzo  23 March, 2017

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 »


Muddled and inflated figures about power decarbonisation

Muddled and inflated figures about power decarbonisation

a commentary by Bob Ward  21 December, 2016

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 more sustainable energy strategy for India

a policy report by Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Himanshu Gupta, Nicholas Stern  28 July, 2016

The COP-21 meeting in Paris produced an important result. For the first time all countries developed and developing agreed to take some mitigation action. However even if all countries deliver on what … read more »


A cost-effective balance between taxes on fossil fuel pollution and support for cleaner alternatives

A cost-effective balance between taxes on fossil fuel pollution and support for cleaner alternatives

a commentary by Alex Bowen, Bob Ward, Dimitri Zenghelis  29 July, 2015

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 for small renewable energy systems: Can it be made fairer?

a policy paper  1 October, 2013

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 »


UK energy policy

UK energy policy

a commentary by Bob Ward  1 October, 2013

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 Climate Change Act

The Climate Change Act

a briefing note by Samuela Bassi, Bob Ward, Dimitri Zenghelis  1 September, 2013

The Climate Change Act received Royal Assent on 26 November 2008 and set an overarching target to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent by … read more »


Climate change policy UK

Climate change policy UK

a briefing note by Chris Duffy, Alex Bowen  18 August, 2013

The Grantham Research Institute for Climate Change and the Environment and the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP) have published a policy paper, originally commissioned as a working paper … read more »


Decarbonising electricity generation

Decarbonising electricity generation

a policy paper by Samuela Bassi, Chris Duffy  1 April, 2013

The power sector is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the UK and must be largely decarbonised by 2030 if the Government is … read more »



Rich nations must take the lead in a clean-energy revolution

Rich nations must take the lead in a clean-energy revolution

a commentary by Nicholas Stern  18 June, 2012

Financial Times – registration is required.


The case for and against onshore wind energy in the UK

The case for and against onshore wind energy in the UK

a briefing note by Samuela Bassi, Alex Bowen, Sam Fankhauser  1 June, 2012

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 »


A practitioner’s guide to a low-carbon economy: lessons from the UK

A practitioner’s guide to a low-carbon economy: lessons from the UK

a policy paper by Sam Fankhauser  1 January, 2012

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 »


Letters: Perspectives on the Greek debt crisis

Letters: Perspectives on the Greek debt crisis

a commentary by Bob Ward  24 June, 2011

Nation has cause to be angry Unfortunately, Sean O’Grady’s perception of rioting Greeks as “a spoilt child’s tantrums” (22 June) is probably widespread beyond Greece’s borders. However, it is mist … read more »