Nick Clegg has announced plans for a 'new Green Deal'

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has, on August 19, 2010, announced plans for a new Green Deal which he says is part of the coalition's 'quiet green revolution' to create jobs and protect the environment.

It is just such a shame that the coalition government is cutting funding to the environmental bodies left, right and center. This is not the “green” government that they promised us, despite of all the noises that are being made.

Mr Clegg, speaking in South Tyneside, said that the Green Deal will combine growth in the economy with a greener and more efficient way of using energy.

He wants to reduce energy demand and carbon emissions while making homes warmer, saving consumers money and stimulating green recovery in jobs.

The Deputy Prime Minister said: "I want to focus on plans for a Green Deal to combine growth in the economy with a greener and more efficient way of using energy.

"Green Deal Finance will allow householders to make their homes more energy efficient, saving on their bills, without the need for them to provide up-front finance.

"Homes account for a quarter of all emissions in the UK, and this is no longer a problem we can ignore. With some of the oldest housing stock in Europe we also face a huge challenge."

According to Mr Clegg up to 14 million homes could benefit from the Green Deal through insulation.

Payments will be collected through energy bills and the most energy inefficient homes could save, on average, around £550 a year.

The Government will begin legislating for these proposals in the Autumn and they are expected to take effect in 2012.

RenewableUK, one of the country's leading renewable energy trade association welcomed the plan as an 'important step' in maximising employment and business benefits in the renewable energy sector.

RenewableUK small systems manager, Indre Vaizgelaite, said: "It is encouraging to see Government taking action on renewables and the environment.

As an industry we look forward to next phase of the Green Deal which is expected to focus on the microgeneration sector.

"The UK small wind sector currently has more than 14,000 small systems installed but the Green Deal will be a great catalyst for further growth which in conjunction with more energy-efficient homes, will be vital in driving down our carbon emissions."

RenewableUK's 2010 small systems market report revealed that the UK market stands at £17.2 million and the figure for UK manufacturing export revenue from this sector is £7.59 million.

While it is very important indeed to make homes, and buildings in general, more energy-efficient by way of insulation, double- and triple-glazing, we must also look at ways of reducing energy use simply by using more efficient lighting, heating and whatever else, as well as by simply not running unnecessary lights and appliances.

The insulating on buildings, though, must be in the forefront, followed by energy production on every roof. Alas, that is not something they have even thought of as yet, though something that we have spoken about here on the Blog in “Every Building a Power Station”. I just wonder when they will catch on.

© 2010