UK Says: We Can’t Rely on Wind Power Alone

Windpower is likely to be the dominant renewable technology until 2020, a recent report from the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry concludes. Both on-and off-shore wind can deliver almost all of the required growth to meet the 2010 renewable energy target and wind is likely to be the dominant technology as far as 2020.

London, United Kingdom – March 2, 2004 [] The Renewables Innovation Review says that windpower alone will not have enough resource to achieve the estimated contribution that renewable energy will need to make in order to meet the UK Government’s 2050 carbon reduction aspirations. “We cannot afford to rest on our laurels,” Energy Minister Stephen Timms said. “This report demonstrates the impact wind energy is set to have and confirms our view that the 2010 renewable energy target is achievable. But we must think strategically both about long-term policy and funding if we are going to exploit the full economic and environmental potential of our renewables industry.” The review – conducted jointly by the DTI and the Carbon Trust – identifies the way ahead for the industry if the UK’s renewable targets, carbon reduction aspirations and desired economic benefits are to be met. The report’s summary concludes that all renewable energy technologies have the potential to make a material contribution to the Government’s long-term carbon reduction aspirations – as set out in the Energy White Paper. The report also highlights the important role that fuel cells may be able to play in delivering large carbon savings through improved efficiency. But long-term policy measures and incentives will be important if a wide range of renewable and other low carbon technologies are to be deployed on a large-scale basis. “This report clearly highlights the tremendous potential for renewables to both deliver carbon emissions reductions and significant economic development to the UK,” said Tom Delay Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust. “The challenge for the renewables industry and for government is to ensure that we capture this opportunity by overcoming the barriers to wind development and by supporting high potential renewable technologies.” The report raises a number of key issues for the long term development of individual renewables technologies, including: – the need to demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of wave and tidal projects; – a focus on fuel supply development of biomass through clusters of regional level projects and – developing a more coherent approach to building integrated renewables such as solar PV. In addition the review looked at a number of issues which cut across all new technologies in this area. The challenges faced in moving renewable and other low carbon technologies through the innovation chain to reach the fully commercial stage is a recurring theme. Reaction from the UK’s British Wind Energy Association Follows in the next story:


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