• POSTbrief

    Measuring Performance for the Carbon Budgets

    Part 6 of the Energy Bill 2015-16 proposes an amendment to the Climate Change Act to adjust the performance measure used in the UK’s statutory carbon budgets. The new measure would include UK territorial emissions only. With this change, credits or debits from the EU Emissions Trading System would not contribute towards the UK’s performance against its carbon budgets from 2028 onwards. This POSTbrief introduces the carbon budgets, explains the proposed change and outlines the implications of the proposed change.

  • POSTnote

    Future of Natural Gas in the UK

    UK shale gas exploration and efforts to mitigate climate change have stimulated debate about the future of the natural gas sector. This briefing looks at potential future pathways for the sourcing and use of natural gas in the UK. It also considers the implications for the economy, energy prices, the reliability of energy supplies and efforts to cut emissions.

  • POSTnote

    Trends in ICT

    This note looks at developments in information and communication technology (ICT) and their relevance for UK policy in the next five years. It examines the capability, use and economic impact of ICT; technical barriers; and implications for cybersecurity, privacy and internet governance.

  • POSTnote

    Trends in Energy

    Providing affordable, reliable and sustainable energy is a key issue in UK policy. Energy policy can be informed by current energy sector trends and projections into the future. This briefing outlines key trends in energy, the factors driving these changes and future projections. It also highlights the implications and challenges of these trends.

  • POSTnote

    Trends in Transport

    Transport is a key driver of economic growth. It links people to their workplaces and connects businesses. It also affects health, the environment and societal wellbeing. This POSTnote looks at why transport is changing, outlines current trends across and within transport sectors and considers the planning of transport networks.

  • POSTnote

    UK Broadband Infrastructure

    The growing use of smart phones and data intensive services (such as video streaming), has increased demand for both fixed and mobile internet. This POSTnote looks at patterns in broadband access and use, and the technical and policy challenges of enhancing UK broadband infrastructure to meet future needs.

  • POSTnote

    Energy Storage

    The Government lists energy storage as one of eight great technologies in which the UK can become a global leader. This briefing outlines the roles of energy storage in the electricity, heat and transport sectors and describes the technologies used from the household level up. It also discusses current barriers and policies for energy storage and potential future uptake.

  • POSTnote

    Smart Metering of Energy and Water

    Smart meters record energy and water usage and improve how this information is relayed to both consumer and suppliers. The Government plans to roll-out smart meters of electricity and gas to all households in Great Britain by the end of 2020. This POSTnote examines the potential benefits and risks associated with smart metering of both water and energy, and the challenges for the energy smart metering roll-out.

  • POSTnote

    Intermittent Electricity Generation

    Sources of electricity that exhibit uncontrolled increases or decreases in output are often referred to as intermittent. This POSTnote examines the effect of wind, solar, wave and tidal intermittency on electricity prices, carbon dioxide emissions and the provision of electricity to meet demand. The note also describes measures to manage intermittency.

  • POSTnote

    New Nuclear Power Technologies

    Nuclear power stations provide a low carbon source of electricity, which could help the UK achieve its policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. This POSTnote reviews new and potential future nuclear power technologies. It also outlines the regulatory approach toward new nuclear build and summarises some of the related challenges.

  • POSTnote

    Electricity Demand-Side Response

    Demand-Side Response describes electricity users (the demand side) changing their patterns of use in response to incentives. It is one of several options eligible for Government support introduced by the 2013 Energy Act. This POSTnote outlines DSR, how it is provided, its role for the UK and its potential future development.

  • POSTnote

    Negative Emissions Technologies

    If emissions of greenhouse gases are not sufficiently mitigated, it may become necessary to artificially accelerate the rate at which they are removed from the atmosphere in order to restrict global warming. This POSTnote provides an overview of some technologies that could remove atmospheric CO2 and summarises the environmental, social and economic issues they raise.

  • POSTnote

    Environmental Impact of Tidal Barrages

    A tidal energy barrage across the Severn Estuary could produce up to 5% of the UK’s electricity demand. It would help meet renewable energy targets but would have significant environmental impacts. This POSTnote summarises evidence on environmental impacts associated with the operation of tidal energy barrages and the effectiveness of compensatory measures.

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    Residential Heat Pumps

    Heat pumps capture ambient heat from the air or the ground and transfer it inside a building. They provide an efficient alternative to conventional methods of heating, such as boilers. This POSTnote summarises the use of heat pump technology for residential buildings and the constraints to their uptake in the UK.