Fuel bills set to soar to pay for green energy plan

Government's drive to cut carbon emissions will see huge rise in charges

A A A

Hundreds of thousands of new "green" jobs and a rise in household energy bills will be prefigured in the Government's plans to turn Britain into a low-carbon economy.

As many as 400,000 new employment opportunities are expected in a massive expansion of renewable energy; as Britain strives to meet two demanding climate change targets: cutting the UK's carbon emissions by 34 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020 (Britain's own pledge), and deriving 15 per cent of all energy from renewable sources by the same date (which may mean as much as 35 per cent of electricity, and is an EU commitment).

But with the opportunities come costs, and it is expected that the national switch to green energy supplies will add substantially to household energy bills.

According to Greenpeace, which has seen a draft of the Government's plans which will be set out in detail this week, the estimated cost of meeting the renewable energy target will be £100bn. This is the amount of funding needed for new energy infrastructure, including 7,000 more wind turbines, which would translate to an additional cost to the consumer of 25 per cent on gas bills and 17 per cent on electricity bills.

Some estimates suggest that total gas and electricity bills, currently averaging about £1,150 per household annually, might rise by £200 or even more, with a consequent danger of forcing many more families into fuel poverty – which is likely to be addressed in the announcement.

The plans to be unveiled by the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, will be the most far-reaching and extensive blueprint so far of how Britain can drastically switch its economy to a low carbon basis.

They will consist of a series of documents, headed by an Energy White Paper which will detail how the UK can meet the rolling "carbon budgets" demanded by the newly-established Committee on Climate Change, chaired by Lord (Adair) Turner.

They have been designed to force down CO2 emissions by 34 per cent in the next 11 years, and by at least 80 per cent on 1990 levels by 2050.

The White Paper will give CO2-cutting scenarios for all the main carbon-emitting sectors, from power generation and transport to homes and even agriculture.

It will be accompanied by three more major documents: the Renewable Energy Strategy, setting out the way to meeting the 15 per cent renewables target, the Low Carbon Industrial Strategy, indicating green jobs and growth opportunities, and a Low Carbon Transport Strategy showing the way forward in cutting transport emissions.

There may also be documents dealing with nuclear energy – setting out the Government's plans for where it intends to site new nuclear power stations in the UK, and the planning regime under which applications for new nuclear will be considered. There is also the idea of a "feed-in tariff" for small scale renewables, a guaranteed payment from the Government for companies or people who generate their own electricity and sell some of it back to the national grid.

However, Greenpeace believes the Government will not accept one of the major recommendations from Lord Turner's Committee on Climate Change – that the electricity sector should be fully decarbonised by 2030. Instead, it believes the Government will only say that it envisages 50 per cent of electricity to be derived from low carbon sources by 2025.

The battle plan: Fighting for the future

The launch this week of strategies for a British low-carbon future will be the most detailed such blueprint. It will involve four substantial documents that are key to Britain's fight against climate change and which will be launched simultaneously. They are:

*The Energy White Paper, which sets out the path for decarbonising the economy across all sectors;

*The Renewable Energy Strategy, which shows how the new and demanding targets for producing energy from renewable sources by 2020 can be met;

*The Low Carbon Industrial Strategy, which will detail how a low-carbon economy can offer opportunities for new jobs and economic growth;

*The Low Carbon Transport Strategy, which looks at how to cut carbon dioxide emissions from transport.

*In addition, there are likely to be announcements about consultations on feed-in tariffs and on renewable heat, a draft national policy statement on nuclear power and an announcement about the new Office of Renewable Energy Deployment.

News
Shoppers at Selfridges department store in central London
news

News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Voices
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
News
Brazilian football legend Pele pictured in 2011
peopleFans had feared the worst when it was announced the Brazil legand was in a 'special care' unit
News
i100(More than you think)
Sport
Brendan Rodgers seems more stressed than ever before as Liverpool manager
FOOTBALLI like Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
Sport
Benjamin Stambouli celebrates his goal for Tottenham last night
FOOTBALL
Life and Style
Dishing it out: the head chef in ‘Ratatouille’
food + drinkShould UK restaurants follow suit?
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - OOP, Javascript, HTML, CSS, SQL

£39000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - OOP, Javascript, HTML,...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial / Residential Property - Surrey

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Programme - Online Location Services Business

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...

Recruitment Genius: Senior QC Scientist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game