A new report has found that the UK public support the transition to low carbon, reliable and affordable energy systems and are willing to pay more for it.
The British government has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 relative to 1990 levels – under the UK Climate Change Act 2008.
But in order to reach this target, a large shift in the UK’s energy system will need to take place.
Researchers from Cardiff University and the Energy Research Centre found that while people support a greener energy transition, and are to a degree willing to contribute financially, they also perceive important responsibilities lie with energy companies and government.
People are reportedly willing to accept an increase of between 9-13% on their energy bill, though this is dependent upon a number of conditions.
Drawing on a survey of over 3,000 respondents, the results highlight widespread support for an energy system that ensures affordability, reliability and low carbon energy sources. But scepticism around how this could be executed remains strong.
The shift to electric for automotive
Britain will end the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040, as stated in the government’s Air Quality initiative, as part of plans to make the UK world-leading in electric and energy efficient vehicles.
The government also pledged that at least half of all new cars sold in Britain should be low carbon by 2030.
Strategies are being put in place to help the automotive industry to become low carbon. However businesses and the automotive industry, particularly in light of uncertainty surrounding Brexit, need continued support to fully adopt an electric future.
Adopting a greener future
The electrification of cars on UK roads is slowly rising; there are currently around 155,000 electric vehicles in the country. By comparison, there are about 30 million fuel-powered cars. Though diesel car registrations in the UK have also fallen sharply over the past 18 months, down almost 30% in 2018.
The UK’s biggest automotive manufacturer, Jaguar Land Rover, also announced that from 2020, all new vehicles manufactured will be electrified, with a portfolio of electrified products across the model range encompassing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles.
To help improve air quality, an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will also be in place in central London from 8 April this year, further deterring customers from purchasing diesel/petrol vehicles.
Cars and vans will need to meet new, tighter exhaust emission standards (ULEZ standards) or pay a daily charge of £12.50 to travel within the area. This potentially on top of London’s £11.50 congestion charge.
- Petrol cars that meet the ULEZ standards are generally those registered with the DVLA after 2005, although cars that meet the standards have been available since 2001
- Diesel cars that meet the standards are generally those registered with the DVLA after September 2015
Consumers want to adopt a greener future. They are willing to pay higher energy bills and are purchasing electric vehicles. The adoption is slow, with only a small proportion of vehicles currently electric, but with the ULEZ coming into force in April, automotive manufacturers transforming their businesses production to align with policy, it is only a matter of time before diesel, petrol and energy created by burning fossil fuels is scrapped.
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