EDF Energy has pledged to reduce the intensity of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its power stations, offices, depots, transport and customers. The company’s progress towards meeting its emissions reduction targets can help the UK achieve its target of an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050, set by the Government as part of a global effort to tackle climate change.
In 2007 EDF Energy pledged to reduce the intensity of CO2 emissions from its electricity production by 60% by 2020. In 2006, the carbon intensity of EDF Energy’s electricity production was 813 grams per kilowatt-hour (g/kWh). The company will now go beyond its original commitment by reducing carbon intensity to no more than 250g/kWh by 2020. This is more than a 60% reduction on the 2006 baseline.
In 2008, EDF Energy acquired British Energy, and with it eight of the UK’s ten nuclear power stations. These are capable of generating over 50 billion kWh of electricity in a year. If this electricity were generated by burning fossil fuels instead, an extra 35 million tonnes of CO2 could be released every year. EDF Energy also intends to invest in four new nuclear power plants, using the European pressurised water reactor (EPR) design. Subject to approvals by the relevant regulators, the first two UK EPRs will be built at Hinkley Point in Somerset.
In its nuclear activities EDF Energy has partnered with energy company Centrica, which has a 20% stake in the company's eight existing nuclear power stations.
Other projects currently underway include a combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) at West Burton, due to commence operating in 2011. EDF Energy is also involved in developing new renewable energy generating equipment, including wind farms and marine current turbines.
Offices, depots and transport
By 2012, EDF Energy aims to reduce CO2 emissions from its offices and depots by 30%, and from its transport by 20%. To achieve these targets the company is introducing energy efficiency measures and renewable microgeneration at its sites, using more energy-efficient vehicles and minimising business travel.
EDF Energy is helping its customers to reduce their CO2 emissions as well as reducing its own. The company aims to reduce the proportion of CO2 arising from its approximately 5.5 million UK customers’ energy consumption by 15% by 2020. This involves raising customers’ awareness of their own energy consumption through smart metering, and enabling them to be more energy efficient through community initiatives like Team Green Britain and the Sustainable Schools Programme.