More wind turbines needed to meet climate change targetUnited Kingdom
Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent
The planning system must allow more wind farms or Britain will fail to meet key climate change targets, Government advisers have warned.
The UK is committed to generating 15 per cent of energy from green sources like wind and solar by 2020.
But at the moment only 3 per cent of energy comes from renewables.
Lord Adair Turner, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), said the UK is likely to miss the target unless there is massive investment in wind, wave and solar.
In a strongly-worded letter to Chris Huhne, the Energy and Climate Change Minister, he called for the Government to “ramp up” efforts to build turbines both on land and at sea.
He said the average wind farm is stuck for more than three years in the planning system. In the last year planning approval rates fell from 68 per cent to 53 per cent.
Despite concerns about wind farms in beauty spots, he said planning permission needs to be given faster so that three times as many turbines can be installed every year.
“Any changes to the planning framework should focus on reducing planning times in order that renewable electricity projects proceed as required to meet the target,” he stated.
The CCC was asked to advise the Government on whether to increase or decrease the current target on renewables.
Lord Turner said it would be “unrealistic” to increase the target beyond 15 per cent but at the same time it should not decreased while it is still possible to transform the energy sector over the next ten years by investing in wind, solar, biomass and even wave machines.
However the CCC did advise the Government to reduce the current target to source 10 per cent of renewable energy for surface transport like cars from biofuels by 2020. Lord Turner said that the current target could cause food shortages and deforestation around the world as growing biofuels takes land away from other crops.
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