§ Lord Jenkin of Roding
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What conclusions they have drawn from the European Union's study on the environmental cost of electricity, and, in particular, on the comparative external costs given for the different forms of electricity generation in the United Kingdom. [HL4805]
§ Lord Sainsbury of Turville
The European Commission's recently published report in its ExternE seriesExternal Costs: Research results on socio-environmental damages due to electricity and transport contains useful estimates of the external costs associated with different electricity generation technologies and forms of transport.
The department is considering the report and has not yet drawn any conclusions from it. Analysis published at the same time as the energy White Paper in February 2003 provided estimates of the ancillary benefits associated with reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. A significant part of these benefits derives from improvements to public health. This paper is available at: www.defra.gov.uk/environment/ climatechange/ewpscience/ewp ancillaryeffects.pdf193WA
The external costs associated with global warming are also covered in the White paper. The Government have a range of policies to encourage renewable energy as well as improving energy efficiency, which are designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by between an additional 15-25MtC by 2020 compared with our business as usual projection. Many of these policies can be achieved at costs which are likely to fall below the marginal external costs of coal and gas generation shown in the Commission's report.