Immediate Release – 31st October 2003
Carbon Trust Report – “a missed opportunity”
The Renewable Power Association has expressed reservations about the
value of the new Carbon Trust report ‘Building Options for UK Renewable
“We would have expected more focus on specific renewables opportunities”
said the RPA’s chief executive officer, Philip Wolfe, adding “ … if this report is
needed at all”. Much of the report, the Association says, covers old ground in
terms of the potential output of each renewable resource and the present
comparative economics of each technology. “You don’t need 20 pages of
glossy text to know that wind power offers great potential for the UK, while
wave, tidal and solar haven’t made it yet”, says Wolfe, “just look at what is
already happening under the Government’s Renewables Obligation”.
The industry had hoped that the Carbon Trust would go beyond the
established economic viability issues, to support new approaches, which can
make substantial contributions in the future. The RPA took issue, in
particular, with the report’s:
o omission of many important renewable technologies, including all of
today’s top three contributors in the UK; hydro, landfill gas and
biomass (though the latter will apparently be covered by a later
o unsupportive coverage of the potential for micro-renewables such as
On solar power in particular, the RPA’s Solar Group contests all three key
findings, namely that “the UK is constrained by”:
o “availability of natural resource”. In fact a DTI report shows that using
solar cells on suitable roof and wall surfaces of existing buildings only
could meet the entire UK electricity demand.
o “cost”. Carbon Trust’s report assessed this simply in terms of pence
per kilowatt hour as though all renewables feed power into the
transmission grid like wind. In fact most solar systems are integrated
into buildings where the supply power direct to the user. “Carbon Trust
should consider value rather than simply cost” says RPA Solar Group
Chairman, Jeremy Leggett.
o “weak competitive position”. In fact, on the day after this report wrote
off local manufacturing in the UK as “unlikely”, a new 20 MW
production plant was announced in Wales, while existing manufacturer
ICP Solar participated in a DTI workshop on UK innovation in solar
“The potential for solar on UK buildings is enormous”, says Jeremy Leggett.
“We were disappointed that a report called ‘Building Options for UK
Renewable Energy’ scarcely acknowledged it.”
Notes to Editor:
For further information or to request an interview please call Philip
Wolfe, Renewable Power Association (07971 786 417) or Jodie
Cohen, Bell Pottinger Public Affairs (07909 976 041).
Renewable Power Association
The RPA is a trade association open to all companies supportive of the UK
renewable energy industry. Launched in October 2001, it has grown
rapidly to exceed 120 members. Members account for the lion’s share of
the new renewable energy capacity currently installed in the UK.
As well as biomass, biogas, tidal, wave, solar, marine technology, wind,
hydro and energy from waste generators, there are members who
specialise in the production of fuels and heat from renewable sources.
Members also include equipment and service providers to the renewable
The Carbon Trust report was intended to inform their policy for investing
£75m over 3 years in low carbon technologies and businesses.
The press release accompanying the report indicates that Carbon Trust
has an annual budget of £50m (i.e. £150m over 3 years).
RPA Renewables Routemap
The RPA Renewables Routemap was launched at a joint meeting of the All
Party Parliamentary Group Globe UK and the Associate Parliamentary
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group (PRASEG) on 20th May
Copies of the Routemap are available on the RPA website http://www.r-p-
a.org.uk or from the Association 020 7963 5852.
The Routemap contains policy suggestions to reach the Government’s