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Big Picture: the cheapest way to cut carbon

16 May 2013
Hand holding a lightbulb in the middle of a recycling sign

Dr David Clarke, chief executive of the Energy Technologies Institute, and Corin Taylor, senior economic adviser at the IoD, outline how the UK can provide affordable, secure and sustainable energy in the future, reducing emissions in the cheapest way.

The UK needs a revolution in its energy system. Getting by with today’s technology isn’t a viable option. While fossil fuels are currently the cheapest solution, on their own they will not be able to provide our future energy needs in a sustainable way.

As a country, it’s vital that we think about the longer term, not just how we can scrape by over the next few years. This means designing our 2050 energy system now. It also means understanding the rigid constraints in that design along with the areas where we need flexibility to cope with uncertainty, new demands and global changes in economics, politics and technology.

At a time when consumers are spending £124bn a year on energy, we’ve got to get it right. If we do, not only will we have a reliable and sustainable energy supply, the UK will also win a big economic prize in terms of greater employment, new export markets and increased inward investment. There are also tremendous reputational gains to be won in positioning the UK as a technological leader and innovator.

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