The government’s proposed programme for legislation in the new session of Parliament announced today includes an Energy Security Bill which will contain new powers aimed at boosting renewable energy, and promote a market in electric heat pumps.
According to Current News (https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/new-energy-bill-unveiled-in-queens-speech-to-boost-energy-security) there are ten main elements to the Bill, including supporting industry to step up investment to increase the consumer market for heat pumps. The government says that it will consider setting a new market standard and create a trading scheme, to help support innovation and help lower the cost of heat pumps over time.
The Bill will also appoint Ofgem (The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) as the new regulator for heat networks in an effort to ensure consumers get a fair price and a reliable supply of heat. It will enable the first ever large-scale hydrogen heating trial, which will inform the role of hydrogen in heat decarbonisation in 2026.
The Bill will also extend the energy price cap which aims to prevent suppliers from overcharging consumers.
Earlier the Met Office, the UK’s national meteorological service, issued a report forecasting the likelihood of crossing a key global warming threshold. According to the new analysis their researchers say that there’s now around a fifty-fifty chance that the world will warm by more than 1.5C over the next five years. Such a rise would be temporary, but they are concerned about the overall direction of temperatures. They also believe that it’s almost certain that 2022-2026 will see a record warmest year.
“The 1.5C figure is not some random statistic. It is rather an indicator of the point at which climate impacts will become increasingly harmful for people and indeed the entire planet,” said Prof Petteri Taalas, head of the World Meteorological Organisation.
“For as long as we continue to emit greenhouse gases, temperatures will continue to rise,” said Taalas. “Alongside that, our oceans will continue to become warmer and more acidic, sea ice and glaciers will continue to melt, sea level will continue to rise and our weather will become more extreme.”