UK set to miss renewables target

Leaked letter and evidence session reveal we’re not on track to meet an already low target

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

Home » UK set to miss renewables target

Published: 12 November 2015

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

  

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While giving evidence at a Parliamentary committee this week, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd, confirmed it was ‘difficult to say’ if the UK was on track to meet its 2020 renewable energy target of 15% of all energy from renewables.

The UK target is lower than the pan-EU target of 20% because the UK has always trailed behind most other European countries on the deployment of renewable energy.

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11.5% by 2020

In the letter, Amber Rudd confirmed that the UK is on track to reach just 11.5% Renewable Energy by 2020 – leaving the UK at risk of delivering just over half the contribution from renewables compared with the rest of Europe.

The Secretary of State also confirmed that the government was looking into the possibility of making up the targets by importing renewable power from overseas

Difficult to understand

Amber Rudd has also underlined the Department for Transport’s focus on electric vehicles. There is nothing in the EU Renewables directive that says how the 15% should be shared between electricity, heat and transport.

‘It is clearly absurd to be decimating the most cost-effective renewable power technologies while exploring the potential to make up the UK renewable target shortfall by importing renewable electricity from overseas.

‘The solar industry has already seen the government prioritise public support towards more expensive overseas utilities over British solar. It is very difficult to understand the lack of interest in supporting British companies.

‘The Secretary of State herself said she would rather meet the target at home so why is she decimating our industry & looking for electricity from overseas?’

Leonie Greene, Solar Trade Association

Safeguarding solar

The UK is exceptionally poor on renewable heat and has almost the lowest contribution in Europe. The solar thermal market has collapsed in recent years due to inadequate support.

The Solar Trade Association’s £1 rescue plan for solar power would deliver 2.7GW of solar power by 2020. This amounts to just 0.17% of total energy in 2020.

The UK renewable energy target is 15% – leaving huge scope for advancing the heat and transport sub-targets. However, the £1 Plan would safeguard the solar power sector.

‘We are all for urgent action on renewable heat, but a sensible approach to renewable power does not, as Rudd suggests, mean ‘abandoning’ heat. There is plenty of scope to strongly ramp up renewable heat while providing a sensible framework to safeguard public investment in the British solar industry. It is not either/or.

‘We are not on track to meet the 2020 targets, investor confidence has been severely damaged by recent policy chaos, the world is halfway to dangerous climate change – the UK does not have a minute to waste to get its solar industry back on track.’

Leonie Greene, Solar Trade Association

Click here to find out more about the Solar Trade Association and the UK solar industry.

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