Leading renewable energy trade bodies including the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA), the British Hydropower Association (BHA), the Renewable Energy Association (REA), the British Photovoltaic Association (BPVA), RenewableUK, Scottish Renewables and the Solar Trade Association (STA), have launched a renewables manifesto statement and campaign hosted on the Action for Renewables website.

The trade bodies have set out six key tests for the next Government, and a campaign has been launched encouraging members of the public to write to the different party leaders to encourage them to take forward the principles into the General Election.

“The renewable energy bodies have come together with clear and simple propositions,” said Action for Renewables’ chairman Tony Juniper. “We need consistent and strong backing for renewable energy, not only to cut carbon emissions and tackle climate change, but also to harness the opportunities for growth and jobs and reduce our reliance on dirty fossil fuel imports from insecure parts of the world.

“A range of technologies have important roles to play and I hope voters will contact Party Leaders and ask them to support out manifesto because none of these technologies can flourish without political backing.”

The six key tests laid out by the grouping are:

1. Support the Climate Change Act to keep us on course to meet our carbon commitments and back global efforts to tackle climate change.
2. Set a new renewables target for 2030 of 30% of UK energy.
3. Back the Independent Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation to set a binding target for low carbon electricity by 2030.
4. Fund the Renewable Heat Incentive for new applications after 2016.
5. Boost the UK’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation to reach the 10% renewable energy target for transport by 2020.
6. Reform the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to ensure the market takes account of all sectors’ polluting cost of carbon emissions.

Renewables currently account for 15% of Britain’s power and are set to provide nearly a third by 2020. A recent report from the International Energy Agency revealed that wind, solar and hydro energy grew at its fastest ever pace last year, equating to almost 22% of global power generation.

The date of the next general election has been set as 7 May 2015.

Luke Nicholls

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