More than eight in ten members of the Energy Institute (EI) think the UK will miss the fifth carbon budget, according to a poll of 406 members.
Meanwhile, members suggest that local energy systems development is the most important aspect of recent government policy.
The EI’s annual barometer asks members for their views on key energy topics. It consistently calls for greater focus on energy efficiency to meet energy and climate goals, and this year was no different.
However, the 2018 barometer asked members for views on the 2017 Industrial and Clean Growth strategies as well as the Autumn Budget.
44% said the £200m pledged for developing local smart energy systems was the most important element, ranking it above the launch of the Industrial Decarbonisation & Energy Efficiency Roadmap action plans (36%) and the £460m pledged to support nuclear technology development (30%).
To make up the shortfall on the fifth carbon budget at lowest cost, 49% said government should prioritise energy efficiency, followed by supporting renewable electricity (32%) and decarbonising transport (31%).
Most members (63%) backed a switch to electric vehicles as the most effective way to cut emissions from passenger road transport, but a lack of grid capacity was cited as the key barrier in deploying more charging stations.
However, the majority (56%) said they would prioritise rail transport infrastructure in order to decarbonise transport at lowest cost – and then shift more road freight to rail.
See the full findings here.