UK to miss 2020 renewable targets

10th September 2016 | Commercial Energy

MPs have warned that the UK will miss its 2020 targets for renewable energy generation, with take-up of clean fuels for heating and transport falling behind aims. The findings of the influential energy and climate change committee (ECC)show that ministers have little clear plan for meeting the 2020 target to meet 15% of energy needs from renewable sources.

Targets include generating 30% of electricity from wind, solar and other low-carbon sources by the end of the decade and generate 12% of hearing and 10% of transport fuels from clean sources by the same date. The target is advisory only.

The targets are advisory only and were set under the EU’s renewable energy plan, but ministers are still required to meet them despite the Brexit vote. The UK is faring best on renewable electricity, but the proportion of renewable energy used for transport has fallen in the same year, and heating remains a significant problem.

According to Angus MacNeil, the Scottish National party MP who chairs the committee, “The UK will miss its 2020 renewable targets without major policy improvements. Failing to meet these would damage the UK’s reputation for climate change leadership. The government must take urgent action on heat and transport to renew its efforts on decarbonisation.”

Heating and transport are particular problems because there are few options available other than fossil fuels: ground source heat pumps are difficult to install, biomass heating can produce soot particles and biofuels (made from plants) are controversial as they can contribute to deforestation if not closely managed.

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