Allowable solutions moves one step closer, but Government fails to confirm carbon price

The Government has published its long-waited response to its consultation on allowable solutions following confirmation that the zero carbon policy will be implemented in 2016.

Allowable solutions is a key part of the overall Zero Carbon policy and allows developers and house builders to meet the target by funding a range of carbon abatement projects on and off-site.

It will, says planning and sustainability consultancy Turley, create an annual carbon abatement market in excess of £250m and could achieve substantial carbon reductions and significant wider economic and social benefits.

Colin Morrison, Director and Head of Sustainability, Turley said:

“This announcement is progress, but it is of increasing concern that no further information has been provided on the likely carbon price, that could range from £36 to £90 per tonne.

“Given that the consultation indicates that most developers and house builders will choose to meet their allowable solutions obligation either through payment into an AS fund or via a third party AS provider, it is critical that the market have visibility on the carbon price to allow the identification of AS projects and the gearing up of AS providers. We would urge the Government to confirm the price as soon as possible.”

The Government has, unsurprisingly, confirmed that it will be the house builders decision as to where and how the AS funds will be spent provided that it meets the necessary criteria.

Colin adds:

“Based on our experience of allowable solutions projects and policies within emerging local plans, this will come as a disappointment to local authorities as it could have represented a significant source of funding for local carbon reduction projects.

“We are of the opinion, however, that this is the right decision to ensure that the policy remains effective and it will therefore be up to local authorities to actively work with developers to identify projects that meet the design principles.”