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Report calls for energy rationing within the decade

Emily Smoucha
18th January 2011
Fuel and energy rationing will be needed before 2020, according to a new parliamentary report that is proposing a system to make sure people have fair and equal access to energy while helping the Government meet its 80 per cent carbon emission reduction by 2050.
The Lean Economy Connection report, entitled 'Tradable Energy Quotas’ was commissioned by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil and concludes that the value of carbon savings now warrants the use of Tradable Energy Quotas (TEQs). It proposes that all adults should receive energy credits in the rationing system.

The UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security has already said peak oil may be reached by 2015. Peak oil is the point when global oil production is at its highest and future production will have to plateau or reduce.

How the rationing system would work
Using the TEQs system would guarantee people had equal access to energy, and they would be able to sell additional credits if they had more than necessary. Businesses would bid weekly for energy units, which would also generate money to fund the system.

Unlike a carbon taxing system, people would not charged for their emissions, so would not have to pay more money in an economy that is already strained.

Commenting on the release of the report, published today, John Hemming MP, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil, said: "What is needed is an intelligent response both to climate change and to fuel depletion. We therefore welcome the model set out in the Lean Economy Connection’s report, which addresses both sides of the problem. It is the first coherent proposal to attempt to do this, and it merits close attention."

Emissions reduction goals
It is unlikely that emissions reduction goals will be met if TEQs aren’t used, according to the report.

"TEQs is the kind of approach we will need if we are to mobilise the infrastructure of a zero-carbon future fast, under pressure. It would increase the chances of working our way through the grim times to renaissance-through-resilience," Jeremy Leggett, chairman of Solarcentury added.

Energy security
The system would help the UK manage should energy scarcities arise in the future while also maintaining the market and mitigating fuel poverty.

Shaun Chamberlin, director of the Lean Economy Connection and co-author of the report, asked that the Government shift its focus away from research and onto ways to implement ways to reduce carbon emissions should rationing become necessary.

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Report calls for energy rationing within the decade
Peak oil is expected to be reached by 2015
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