Productivity trends are used to explain the changing structure of the economy and to compare the UK’s performance against its peers. When the same concept is applied to energy, and ultimately to carbon, it becomes a clear measure of progress towards achieving long-term greenhouse gas emission targets. The results for the UK electricity sector suggest that, if the government’s existing targets are to be met, the current policy programme will have to be expanded during the next 10–15 years, at a cost of several billions.
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