Thursday, 29 January 2009

Tesco and the low carbon economy

Hot on the heels of the opening of Tesco's first low-carbon store, its director of government affiairs David North took part in a lively debate at The Carbon Trust's stakeholders' meeting. Tesco last week opened the first store built from its new low-carbon blueprint, which uses energy-efficiency measures to operate with 70% less carbon emissions than traditional stores built only a couple of years ago.

David North argued that there is little incentive for business to focus on low carbon technology when energy prices are falling and there are no tax incentives for making green investments. Customers say that their values don't change in a recession but their ability to exercise them does. They need financial incentives advice and encouragement. For example, when Tesco offered 4 energy efficient lightbulbs for £1, they sold 2.36m.

In order to meet the 2020 target of 15% of energy from renewables, community generation will need to be developed. This requires feed-in tariffs and an overhaul of the planning laws. Tesco is keen to incorporate renewable energy generation into its new stores, and to become a net contributor to the national grid, but the current planning legislation is a barrier.

No comments: