Research by consultants Arup, commissioned by the Department for Energy and Climate change (DECC), predicts a larger role for renewables than previous studies.

The work, published today (July 10), in a 314 page report does not highlight the benefits of one particular renewable.

It was created to inform a consultation, due out later this summer, on financial support levels for a range of renewable technologies between 2013 and 2017 under the Government’s Renewables Obligation.

The report also suggests there is ‘huge potential’ to expand the use of renewable energy technology across the country.

But, sounds a note of caution by saying it will be up to Government, industry and the public to decide how to overcome the barriers to greater use.

The report looked at three levels of constraints that could affect potential annual energy generation from renewable sources – low, medium and high – modelling the effect of changes in output under different scenarios.

The analysis also took into account barriers to deployment – such as planning legislation, the availability of land, skilled labour and equipment, materials or fuel, as well as the costs of connection to the power grid.

Arup’s technical director for the study, Simon Power, said: “We have taken into consideration costs and barriers to deployment – from planning policy, to skill levels, and the availability of land, materials and equipment.

“However, this report is not designed to say one solution is better than another, rather, it provides the Government and other stakeholders with a comprehensive evidence base to make economic and political decisions.”

Energy minister, Charles Hendry, added: “It is vital that our support for renewable electricity both encourages investment and represents value for money for consumers.

“This study provides a detailed picture of generation costs and deployment potential for a wide range of technologies to inform our work in this area.”

Luke Walsh

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