Chief Construction Advisor to the UK Government admits efficiency measures don’t do it for him...
Paul Morrell, Chief Construction Advisor to the UK Government
I’m afraid, though I know I shouldn’t say it, that I cannot get excited about energy efficiency measures – and I actually think that the search for excitement might be part of the problem. Energy efficiency is first of all a matter of the careful application of well-chosen passive measures, and sometimes some very simple things like bringing maintenance up to date, resetting or replacing controls, and the like. This is not nearly as exciting as a wind turbine, or better still, a whole farm of them! Our jackdaw minds (and those of politicians and officials) are much more attracted to shiny things that whizz around and represent a visible response to the challenge of climate change, than they are to low-tech work in the fabric of a building.
Energy that doesn’t need to be generated at all, because it isn’t being consumed, doesn’t get the same attention. It is, however, the most cost-effective way of reducing our emissions, so we need to get excited by that – by the fact that we are fixing the problem, and by the opportunities created at home and abroad in knowing how to do it.
So that is what I get excited about: that we might set ourselves the ambition of being the first country in the world that knows how to decarbonise an entire economy, effectively and economically – knowing, if you accept the science (and I’m not clever enough not to), that the whole world will need to follow. How much of an opportunity would that represent?
Paul Morrell was in conversation with Anna Simpson
Photo credit: iStockphoto/thinkstock