Renewable energy bodies publish action plan to increase output

Eleven renewable energy trade associations, representing over 600 companies, have joined forces and published an eight point action plan to expand the use of renewables in the UK and provide 25% of total energy needs by 2025.

The plan has been sent to all political parties ahead of the forthcoming general election. At its heart is a call to develop renewables across all energy sectors, so that the progress being made in developing certain forms of renewable, such as wind, is expanded for all technologies. This would mean the government introducing financial support measures to create new markets for renewable heat and transport fuels as well as setting clear targets.

It also calls for measures to dramatically expand the use of small scale renewables for us in homes and offices and the creation of a new Cabinet level post with specific responsibility for delivering the UK Climate Change Programme within a new Department of Energy and the Environment.

Marcus Rand, Chief Executive of the British Wind Energy Association said the UK was blessed with a vast renewable energy resource and that the market for wind was developing well. "However, this is just the tip of the renewable iceberg. We need to bring new renewable technologies, like wave and tidal, to commercial take-off, while at the same time intervening to drive new markets for renewable heat and transport fuels."

The eight points of the plan are:

  • Creation of Cabinet level post to deliver UK climate change programme;
  • Extension of renewable electricity targets;
  • Introduction of new policies that promote renewable energy in sectors other than electricity generation;
  • Additional revenue support for power generation technologies that are close to commercialisation under the renewables obligation (RO);
  • New tax incentives;
  • Measures to support micro-power technologies;
  • A proactive planning framework for the implementation of renewable energy projects;
  • A strategic plan for grid development and reinforcement.

    Gaynor Hartnell, Director of Policy at the Renewable Power Association, said: "We need to move whole scale to a more sustainable and secure energy system. Other renewable electricity technologies need assistance, so that they too can share in wind's success. Renewable heat and transport fuels can play a major part in emissions reductions. Government needs to act to bring renewables, together with energy efficiency, into the mainstream. The 25% energy target is ambitious, but Government needs to show ambition in addressing climate change."

    The recommendation of a 25% target by 2025 is the same as that made recently by former cabinet minister Stephen Byers.

    By David Hopkins

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