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UK ‘off track’ for 2020 renewables target

Official energy statistics published today by the UK government report that the UK has missed its indicative renewable energy target for 2011-12.

As a result the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will have to submit an amended national renewable energy action plan to the European Commission by 30th June 2014, setting out measures to get the country back ‘on track’.

The means that the UK is the only Member State which has failed to meet both 2011 and 2013 indicative targets and which is expected not to reach its 2020 target.

“This is a near miss. Had government interfered less with its existing policies for biomass power, stuck to its timetable on the Renewable Heat Incentive, or laid out a clear framework for biofuels, then it would almost certainly have met its indicative target,” commented Renewable Energy Association (REA) chief executive Gaynor Hartnell.

The 2011-12 UK figure shows that 3.94% of energy comes from renewables, 0.1% short of the indicative target of 4.04%. Meanwhile, the majority of the EU-27 had already met their 2011-12 indicative targets by the end of 2011. According to the latest EUROSTAT data, the UK remains 25th out of the 27 EU Member States on the share of renewables in its heating system, power supply and transport fuels. The UK’s 2020 target is one of the lowest across the EU-27 (15%), and requires one of the highest annual growth rates (16.5% year-on-year to 2020).

The REA is the UK partner for the EU-wide ‘Keep on Track!’ project, which assesses Member States’ progress towards their 2020 targets. The first ‘Keep on Track’ Tracking Roadmap report was published last month and revealed that the UK had missed its indicative 2011 NREAP target.

The REA estimates that if the renewables industry expands sufficiently to meet the UK’s 2020 target, it will sustain 400,000 jobs across the supply chain.


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Bioenergy  •  Energy efficiency  •  Energy infrastructure  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity  •  Wind power