Can you guess who said this?
When I think about climate change and our response to it, I don’t think of doom and gloom, costs and sacrifice.
I think of a cleaner, greener world for our children to enjoy and inherit.
I think of the almost unlimited power of innovation, the new technologies, the new products and services, and the progress they can bring for our planet and all mankind.
We need to waste less energy; to generate more energy locally, and to generate more energy from renewable sources.
Put simply, we need to move away from the old-fashioned top-down model of energy supply.
The future of energy is not top-down, it’s bottom-up.
In a word, the future’s not centralized — it’s decentralized.
Decentralized energy – electricity generated in smaller, more local units like neighborhood combined heat and power schemes – could make a huge contribution to reducing carbon emissions and improving energy efficiency.
Decentralized energy offers an exciting vision of 21st century energy supply, re-engineering the system and opening it up to new, smaller technologies and more local participants.
The policy direction we’re taking is based on two key principles.
First, that government’s role should be to set the right framework for emissions reductions and energy security.
Government should not be in the business of specifying a particular mix of electricity generation capacity.
Our second principle is that industry’s role should be to develop the best and most affordable technology within this framework.
We think it’s wrong to start with the technology you want to see, and set the framework afterwards.
These principles, applied to the strategic objectives of carbon reduction and affordable energy security, point towards the three main components of the policy direction we are taking.
We can guarantee carbon reduction by developing a long-term ‘cap and trade’ regime for carbon emissions.
That means setting a limit on the overall amount of carbon dioxide that the electricity sector can emit, and allowing generators to buy or sell permits to emit carbon dioxide within the overall cap.
We can guarantee that there will always be enough electricity generating capacity to keep the lights on by establishing a capacity payment system.
That means paying generators to have spare capacity on stand-by.
And we can spark a revolution in green energy by improving the regulatory structure for renewable and decentralized energy.
That means getting rid of all unreasonable obstacles to investment in renewable and decentralized energy, for example making it easier for local generators to sell any spare electricity they generate back to the National Grid.
There must be a level playing field for renewable and decentralized energy to compete on equal terms with nuclear power.
We want to give green energy a chance.
That means no special favors or subsidies for nuclear power.
Where the Government see nuclear power as the first choice…
Under our framework it would be a last resort.