Renewable energy

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on renewable energy. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
10.08.2016Commons Library analysis: The Renewable Heat Incentive
The Renewable Heat Incentive aims to support households and businesses to generate renewable heat for their buildings. Regulations introduced this month will prevent some biomass-CHP plant from receiving the (higher) biomass-CHP tariff for all their heat output unless a power efficiency threshold of 20% is met. The scheme is funded to 2020.
22.07.2016Commons Library Analysis: Energy: The Renewables Obligation
The Renewables Obligation has provided financial support for large scale renewable electricity. Some elements of the scheme have already closed and it will close in 2017 as part of Electricty Market Reform, to be replaced by Contracts for Difference.
21.07.2016Commons Library analysis: Energy Storage in the UK
Energy storage is expected to play an increasing role in managing an increasingly decentralised electricity grid in the next few years.
15.07.2016Commons Library analysis: Climate change: Ratifying the Paris Agreement
The Paris Climate Conference in December 2015 reached agreement, to be implemented in 2020, to keep global increases in temperature well below 2 C. The UK has signed the Agreement, but when will it be ratified?
14.07.2016Commons Library Analysis: UK Fifth Carbon Budget
The Government has to set the UK Fifth Carbon Budget for 2028-2032 and decide whether to follow the advice from the Committee on Climate Change. The draft Carbon Budget Order 2016 is to be considered by the 3rd Delegated Legislation Committee on 18 July 2016.
13.07.2016Sources of Statistics: Energy
This introductory guide provides sources of statistics on energy in the UK.
13.07.2016Planning for onshore wind
Onshore wind farm planning applications are determined by local authorities, except for small-scale domestic turbines which have permitted development rights. Recent changes to onshore wind planning policy made by the Government has aimed to give local communities more of a say in which developments are approved. This note sets out planning policy for onshore wind development, controls in place, rules on separation distances, possible community benefits and the recent changes.
24.06.2016Energy Policy Overview
This note provides an overview of the current Government's energy policy.
10.05.2016Zero Carbon Homes
Proposals for zero carbon homes and the Government's decision not to proceed with the scheme announced in July 2015
13.04.2016Green Investment Bank
The Green Investment Bank was set up by the Government to stimulate investment in green infrastructure in 2012. Privatisation was announced in 2015.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
17.07.2015Energy Bill [HL] (HL Bill 56 of 2015-16)
This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the second reading of the Energy Bill [HL] in the House of Lords, on 22 July 2015.
13.06.2013Energy Bill (HL Bill 30 of 2013-14)
The Energy Bill is intended to establish a framework for delivering secure, affordable and low-carbon energy. This Library Note provides background information for the second reading of the Bill in the House of Lords on 18 June 2013.
08.01.2010Debate on 14th January: The Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change. LLN 2010/001
Debate on 14th January: The Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change. This Library Note aims to provide background reading for the debate to be held on Thursday 14th January: 'To call attention to the outcome of the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change' The UN Conference on Climate Change took place in Copenhagen from 7th-19th December 2009. This Note explains the significance of the Conference in the context of previous international agreements on climate change, sets out the major disagreements that marred the negotiating process in Copenhagen and summarises the key elements contained in the final Copenhagen Accord. It considers analysis of the Accord's achievements and shortcomings, and summarises the reactions of key nations and interest groups.

POSTnotes

DateDescription
03.05.2016Carbon Footprint of Heat Generation
Heat Policy takes into account the carbon footprint of different heating technologies. This POSTnote summarises evidence about the carbon footprints of current and emerging heating technologies in the domestic, commercial and industrial sectors. It then outlines wider considerations for heat policy and broad assessments of the 'best' way to reduce emissions from heating.
16.11.2015Future of Natural Gas in the UK
UK shale gas exploration and efforts to mitigate climate change have stimulated debate about the future of the natural gas sector. This briefing looks at potential future pathways for the sourcing and use of natural gas in the UK. It also considers the implications for the economy, energy prices, the reliability of energy supplies and efforts to cut emissions.
07.09.2015Trends in Energy
Providing affordable, reliable and sustainable energy is a key issue in UK policy. Energy policy can be informed by current energy sector trends and projections into the future. This briefing outlines key trends in energy, the factors driving these changes and future projections. It also highlights the implications and challenges of these trends.
14.04.2015Energy Storage
The Government lists energy storage as one of eight great technologies in which the UK can become a global leader. This briefing outlines the roles of energy storage in the electricity, heat and transport sectors and describes the technologies used from the household level up. It also discusses current barriers and policies for energy storage and potential future uptake.
29.05.2014Intermittent Electricity Generation
Sources of electricity that exhibit uncontrolled increases or decreases in output are often referred to as intermittent. This POSTnote examines the effect of wind, solar, wave and tidal intermittency on electricity prices, carbon dioxide emissions and the provision of electricity to meet demand. The note also describes measures to manage intermittency.
13.01.2014Electricity Demand-Side Response
Demand-Side Response describes electricity users (the demand side) changing their patterns of use in response to incentives. It is one of several options eligible for Government support introduced by the 2013 Energy Act. This POSTnote outlines DSR, how it is provided, its role for the UK and its potential future development.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
21.06.2011Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee.
Merits of Statutory Instruments Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
23.11.2010Funding the development of the renewable energy technologies.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
07.07.2009The EU's renewable energy target and the revision of the emissions trading system: Follow-up report.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
12.02.2009Government response to the report on The Economics of Renewable Energy.
Government response. Economic Affairs Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
23.11.2011CONDUCT OF HRH DUKE OF EDINBURGH
That this House regrets the comments of HRH Duke of Edinburgh on wind farms; and believes that such comments reinforce the wisdom of the convention that members of the Royal Family ...
22.11.2011RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY FOR SOCIAL HOUSING
That this House is concerned that social housing tenants are being denied savings of up to 180 per year on their energy bills as well as subsidised energy efficiency measures because ...
14.11.2011BIOMASS AND BIOLIQUIDS FOR ELECTRICITY GENERATION
That this House is concerned that increased use of biomass and bioliquids for electricity generation is likely to have substantial negative impacts on global hunger, biodiversity and ...
10.11.2011SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC FEED-IN TARIFFS
That this House recalls the previous administration's decision to introduce a national solar photovoltaic feed-in tariff scheme throughout the UK to encourage users to switch to green ...
03.11.2011SOLAR INDUSTRY
That this House condemns the UK Government's proposed cuts to feed-in tariffs for solar panels; believes that these cuts will be a body blow to a sector in which many businesses have ...

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses