Editor's note: As BusinessGreen is based in the U.K., many of the predictions are centered in this region.
It is that time of year again, the time of New Year's resolutions and predictions for the next 12 months. So, without further ado, here are the 13 predictions that BusinessGreen is making for 2013. They are in no particular order and we make no guarantees as to their accuracy, but these are the key developments we expect to see over the coming year.
The Green Deal will get off to a steady start
Before the end of the month the government will launch its Green Deal energy efficiency scheme. Backed by a multi-million dollar communications campaign and over $407 million of incentives worth up to $1,630 per household it should make quite a splash. However, with concerns mounting over the effectiveness of the scheme compared to the phased-out Warm Front initiative and a relatively limited number of companies offering Green Deal services, it is likely to get off to a steady rather than a stellar start. The Green Deal has the potential to be transformative for businesses and households alike, but it will take time.
The electric car revolution will be deferred again
Evidence that electric cars represent a cost-effective and reliable alternative to the internal combustion engine grows ever more compelling. As such, 2013 will see plenty more fleet and taxi operators following the example set by the likes of General Electric and GreenTomatoCars by placing orders for electric vehicles (EV). But despite high fuel prices and clear environmental benefits, it is going to take longer than manufacturers hoped for EVs to make it into the mainstream.
The battle for a power sector decarbonization target will reach fever pitch
The year in Westminster is going to kick off with a fearsome row over whether to impose a decarbonization target on the power sector. With an amendment for such a target tabled, Lib Dem backbenchers and green Tories are going to come under immense pressure to rebel against the government. Meanwhile, Labor is sounding more bullish on environmental issues than they have in years, paving the way for 12 months of potentially vote-winning attacks on the fracking-infatuated chancellor and the climate-skeptic dinosaurs on his backbenches.
Work will start on the U.K.'s first nuclear power plant in a generation
The government has repeatedly said it will not be held to ransom and will demand value for money from any new nuclear reactors. But, in reality, if EDF and Hitachi walk away from their plans for new nuclear power plants, the government's entire energy strategy will be left in tatters. It would be little short of a miracle if a deal is not brokered that allows new projects to move forward, much to the chagrin of many environmentalists.
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