Britain will Fail to Meet Renewables Target, warns Report

Attempts to increase the use of renewable energy in Britain will need incentives, according to a consulting group.

CAMBRIDGE, England, UK, 2001-09-12 [] Attempts to increase the use of renewable energy in Britain will need incentives, according to a consulting group. Cambridge Econometrics says the U.K. target to have 10 percent of all electricity come from green power by 2010, is not likely to be achieved until five years later unless the government offers some incentives. The target is a key element in the government’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions and to meet the country’s obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. Obstacles that currently block the development of renewable generation projects will stop this target from being met, warns an analysis of energy demand, ‘UK Energy & the Environment.’ Forecasts for GHG emissions are based on an integrated model that factors in 5,000 variables and 16,000 behavioural parameters In energy and environment matters. Given the right incentives, however, the company details the positive contribution that could be made from a much larger renewables program. “Such investments are not expensive and actually lead to a modest increase in economic output and employment, while at the same time reducing emissions beyond 2010,” it concludes. “These investments, in particular the bold renewables programme, could put the UK on a path towards meeting a 60% cut in emissions by 2050 as recommended by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution.” The scenario assumes that renewables would generate 13 percent of electricity by 2010 and 30 percent by 2020. Funding for these green energy facilities is raised by increasing costs to consumers, to a maximum price of only 4.3p/kWh as proposed in an early consultation on the government’s Renewables Obligation. The study does not factor in the adverse impact of the New Electricity Trading Arrangements, where problems for renewables generators have been created by the balancing mechanism and by technical and regulatory constraints. The British government has promised an additional £100 million for renewables, but it not yet known how that money will be spent and how much new renewables capacity it will support, notes the report.
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