Warning on target for green energyUnited Kingdom
Fiona Harvey, Environment Correspondent
Drastic new measures will be needed if the UK is to meet its target of generating 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, the government’s climate change watchdog has warned.
The UK generates only 3 per cent of its energy from such sources, despite more than a decade of policy measures intended to raise that figure substantially.
Lord Turner, chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, has written to Chris Huhne, the energy and climate change secretary, to urge him to stick to the target. He said a “step change” was needed in the way the UK approached renewable energy.
A particular problem will be renewable energy for heating, rather than electricity, he said.
Wood-fired boilers and heat pumps are two possible technologies, but are used by only a tiny number of households.
Other measures urged by the CCC include finalising the regulatory arrangements for building transmission lines from offshore wind farms. This has been a key sticking point for wind investors. The onshore power network should also be upgraded, the CCC said, to speed the building of onshore wind turbines.
Planning must also be overhauled, so that companies face fewer obstacles to building renewable energy infrastructure, according to the CCC. In addition, the subsidy system for renewables should be clarified.
Lord Turner said there could be a greater role for “public sector financial intermediation” to reduce the risk associated with big infrastructure projects. This could be done through a Green Investment Bank, which the government pledged before the election.
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