Manufacturers’ energy woes

Posted on 7 May 2010 by The Manufacturer

Independent British think tank Civitas has released a report which analyses the problems manufacturers face relating to energy needs and costs, and the targets for cutting carbon emissions.

Civitas – The Institute for the Study of Civil Society – says in its report ‘British energy policy and the threat to manufacturing industry’ that energy intensive manufacturers are likely to face an immense struggle in terms of cost and reduction because our targets are a lot higher and we have we have almost no renewable capabilities, compared with our continental cousins.

Our commitment under the Climate Change Act, for instance, is carbon cuts of 34 per cent, based on 1990 levels, compared with the EU’s 20 per cent.

What’s more: “The ‘easy’ emission cuts have already been made and emissions cuts from now on will be far harder to achieve than in the past,” reads the report. “The bulk of the falls in emissions since 1990 came from the switch away from coal-fired power stations and into gas, which emits less CO2 per unit of output. The loss of heavy industry and manufacturing also contributed.”

It also suggests that while a strong focus on reducing emissions could, as a by-product, result in the UK developing innovative and global leading technology, the overall impact on the problem of global emissions will be largely unaffected by removing even 100 per cent of our emissions.

Click here for a full PDF copy of the report