Energy use, including that of the transport sector, is the main contributor to EU carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. We support the development of policies for innovation and improvement in these sectors, striving for sustainable and appropriate solutions to the challenges facing society.

We work to ensure support is properly tailored to deliver the best climate and environmental outcomes from energy policies. We have experience in a wide range of energy policy issues; the examples below give a flavour of our work in this area.

Reducing energy use
According to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), approximately 80% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to the production and consumption of energy. The decarbonisation of the both the global and EU economies can only be reached with the reduction of energy use and the extensive deployment of renewable energy sources.
Energy use can be reduced through:

  • Increased energy efficiency, of buildings, appliance and resource use; and
  • Demand management, including better consumer information and awareness.

 

Renewable energy technologies and planning
Size matters when it comes to renewable energy technologies, as does the underlying planning process. An IEEP report for the RSPB, Positive planning for offshore wind, highlights the need for sensitive planning for renewable energy installations. Such installations are not a magic solution and care is needed to ensure they benefit rather than harm the environment.

Bioenergy and biofuels
Bioenergy in general, and biofuels in particular, have gained increasing momentum both politically and commercially over recent years. If it is to form a sustainable part of the energy mix of the future, the use of bioenergy must, like any fuel or technology, take account of potential environmental, social and economic side-effects. Currently our work focuses on:

  • The sustainability of bioenergy policy;
  • The development of sustainability criteria for biofuels; and
  • Land use issues.

 

Carbon capture and storage: public perceptions and appropriate siting of plants
IEEP’s recent work on carbon capture and storage (CCS) has focused on the non-technical barriers to CCS development. In large part this has centred on public perceptions and acceptance of CCS plants, including evaluation of the communication strategies used to inform stakeholders and the wider public of the advantages and risks of CCS, and effective ways to involve them in local decision-making. More on this initiative: www.communicationnearco2.eu