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Reconciling bio-energy policy and delivery in the UK. TSEC 27 th July 2009. Biomass and Bioenergy 2008 : doi:10.1016/jbiombioe.2008.10.007. Raphael Slade, Caliope Panoutsou, Ausilio Bauen. E-mail: raphael.slade@imperial.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 7306.

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slide1

Reconciling bio-energy policy and delivery in the UK

TSEC

27th July 2009

Biomass and Bioenergy 2008 : doi:10.1016/jbiombioe.2008.10.007

Raphael Slade, Caliope Panoutsou, Ausilio Bauen

E-mail: raphael.slade@imperial.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 7306

slide2

The UK has sought to lead on climate change

‘Climate change is probably, in the long term, the single most important issue we face as a global community’

‘We need to go beyond Kyoto… climate change cannot be ignored’

‘This is extremely urgent. A 50% cut by 2050 has to be a central component’

slide3

80%... (Climate Change Act 08)

The world needs to face up to the challenge of climate change, and to do so now (07)

Government must show leadership by setting the right framework. Binding targets for carbon reduction, year on year (06)

Tackling climate change is our social responsibility (06)

slide4

Increased deployment of bio-energy is part of the solution…

…will UK or EU initiatives lead the way?

Modest increases in deployment, but more needs to be done

“The UK is in danger of being left behind”

Royal Commission Environmental Pollution 22nd report

The [UK] approach can be characterised as: no targets; no concerted policy; no strategy; and, limited support for development

Sir Ben Gill – Biomass Taskforce

slide5

Outline

  • Are existing UK policies performing?
  • Will new UK initiatives increase deployment?
  • The role of the EU
  • Conclusions
slide6

The existing policy framework is extensive…

Incentive schemes target all stages of the supply-chain and the innovation chain.

Supply chain

Feedstocks

Conversion

Distribution

R&D

16 incentive schemes identified* including:

Innovation

chain

  • Energy Crops Scheme
  • Bioenergy infrastructure scheme
  • DTI technology programme
  • Community energy
  • ROCs
  • Community renewables initiative

Commercialisation

Knowledge

transfer

Numerous organisations are responsible for administration:

* Biomass Task Force 2005

slide7

…but ambitious high level targets cannot be disaggregated

12.5% cut in CO2, relative to 1990 levels, by 2012

UK

Set the UK on a path to cut CO2 by 60% by 2050

20% cut relative to 1990 levels, by 2010

“Significant contribution”

Bio-energy

“Is important”

slide8

Specific targets run counter to Government policy…

The political mindset

Implications for bio-energy

  • Competition should be supported
  • Technology options should compete of price
  • Support mechanisms should be technology blind
  • Policy cost should be minimised

Is the current level of deployment the most efficient and thus desirable?...

…or indicative of policy failure?

…bio-energy policies cannot be assessed against objectives

slide9

Will future policies increase deployment?

This strategy aims to …

“realise a major expansion in the supply and use of biomass in the UK”

May 2007

slide10

Transport Innovation Strategy

Energy review

Non-food crops strategy

Micro-generation strategy

National Audit Office-

Renewable energy

Non-food crops progress report

Carbon trust

Biomass sector review

England wood fuel strategy

Direct link

Waste Strategy Consultation

For England

Waste Strategy for England

Biomass action plan for Scotland

Influence

Policy processes and interactions

EU Biofuels directive

EU Biomass action plan

EU Biofuels Strategy

Agreement for ResE Directive

European

National

Energy White Paper

RCEP

Biomass

Biomass

Taskforce

Response to Taskforce

UK Biomass

Strategy

Regional

04

05

06

07

08

03

Year

slide11

The framework for assessment

Best practice criteria

Action categories

  • Delivery mechanism
    • Incentives / standards / information / further work
  • Resource commitment
    • New funding / ambiguous / negligible
  • Escape hatch
    • Review… / consider… / look at… / where appropriate…
  • Follow-up
    • Accepted / contingent / rejected
  • Unambiguous objectives
  • Quantifiable outcomes
  • Cause and effect are linked
  • Adequate time and resources
  • Compliance enforceable
  • Implementation considered alongside policy formation
  • Delivery agencies not interdependent

Policy model

Decision

Agenda

Implementation

& evaluation

Reform issue

On agenda

Decision for reform

Successful implementation

Evaluation

Not on

Decision against

Unsuccessful

Time

slide12

Setting the agenda

  • Identified heat as a key area for support – proposed a heat obligation
  • Implicit demand for additional financial support
  • Dismissed biofuels as ‘inefficient’ or ‘speculative’
  • Failed to make request for support explicit
  • Failed to link increased support to tangible benefits
  • Little impact on subsequent reports

2004

slide13

Re-defining the agenda

  • Called for a link between UK targets and those for bio-energy, and to make them quantifiable
  • Recognised that fragmentation of delivery was a problem
  • Focused on “encouragement and facilitation” actions only
  • Starting point: no new funding could be justified
  • Heat obligation (from RCEP) rejected as unworkable
  • Implicit rejection of RCEP demand additional funding

2005

slide14

Agreeing an agenda

  • Capital grant scheme ~10-15m / 2 years (half that proposed by taskforce)
  • Implicit rejection of link between UK targets and those for bio-energy
  • No commitments have quantifiable objectives
  • Most commitments have escape hatches built in, or are contingent on other reviews

2006

slide15

Reframing the debate

  • A return to the agenda phase: from bio-energy to climate change and innovation
  • No causal link between policy goals and delivery outcomes
  • Intangible actions: ambiguous outcomes… e.g. “the UK will continue to engage internationally”
  • Little additional funding: will a ~£7m/yr capital grant scheme deliver a “major expansion”?

May 2007

slide16

Developments in the EU

Indicative, non-binding targets

Renewable electricity directive (2001)

Biofuels directive (2003)

Precise, legally binding targets

A co-ordinated approach

Minimum sustainability standards

Agreement for renewable energy directive (2008)

slide17

Conclusions…

  • The UK has stretching renewable energy and carbon targets, but targets for bio-energy are ambiguous
  • There are many bio-energy policy initiatives, but no causal link between objectives and outcomes
  • Most policy actions are limited to information provision / facilitation. Their efficacy is unknown.
  • Attempts to translate UK-level targets into lower-level targets for bio-energy have been made, but have not been pursued
  • Increased deployment will be driven by the EU
slide18

July 2009…

The UK Renewable Energy Strategy

slide19

RES Bioenergy related recommendations

  • Renewable heat incentive resurrected
  • New office for Renewable Energy Development
  • Feed-in tariffs for small-scale generators
  • Inclusion of sustainability criteria in RO
  • Numerous consultations…
  • Numerous new departments, boards, committees…
  • Increasing technology prescription…
  • A General Election before June 2010!
slide20

An alternative (incrementalist) perspective…

“… understanding a social problem is not always necessary for its amelioration.”

“Policy change is, under most circumstances, evolutionary…neither revolution, nor drastic policy change, nor even carefully planned big steps are ordinarily possible…

“A fast moving sequence of small changes can more speedily accomplish a drastic alteration of the status quo than can only infrequent major policy change.”

(Lindblom 1979)