Bioenergy technologies can contribute to energy cost savings for consumers


A report from the Committee on Climate Change has suggested that bioenergy technologies could contribute to reduced bills for consumers if the Government invests in low-carbon infrastructure.

The independent Committee on Climate Change, which advises the Government on meeting emissions targets and preparing for climate change, showed that by investing in a portfolio of low-carbon technologies throughout the 2020s could save consumers £25 to £45 billion.


This could rise as high as £100 billion with higher gas and carbon prices.

While technologies such as fracking of shale gas, and solar, wind and marine energy are likely to bring the largest savings, energy from waste technologies such as combustion of municipal solid waste and woody biomass, anaerobic digestion, bioliquids, gasification and pyrolysis will all contribute to a portfolio of technologies that can reduce costs to consumers.

However, the report warned that there is a high degree of uncertainty and unfavourable conditions for investment in the power sector and its supply chains at present.

If the Government makes commitments to support investments in a portfolio of low-carbon technologies, it estimates this would only add around £20 to the typical annual household bill in 2030 compared to 2020.

Committee on Climate Change chairman Lord Deben said: “This report shows that there are significant benefits and very limited risks from investing in low-carbon technologies. It factors in the potential benefits of shale gas, which could play a useful role in meeting heat demand.

“It shows that the cost-effective route to the 2050 target involves investment in a portfolio of low-carbon technologies in the 2020s.

“However, in order to secure maximum economic benefit for the UK, it is crucial that the Government gives certainty to investors by legislating to chart a clear course well beyond 2020. Only then will we be able to insure against the risk of much higher future energy prices, enhance Britain’s energy sovereignty, and protect ourselves against dangerous climate change.”