The Renewable Energy Strategy: finally a fair wind?
Yesterday, the Government announced its national renewable energy blueprint and put its renewable energy strategy out to consultation.
The proposals outlined by Business Secretary John Hutton are intended to enable the UK to meet its proposed renewable energy target of 15% by 2020, an increase of 1,000% on current levels. It is estimated that the proposals will require a £100 billion investment over the next 12 years and will create 160,000 jobs.
Energy partner Derek Goodban says, "The proposals represent a comprehensive package and, one would expect, are music to the ears of those involved in the renewable energy sector. But words are cheap. The sector will be looking for concrete evidence that the strategy is being delivered - and quickly."
The strategy includes proposals for:
- extending the term and increasing the level of the Renewables Obligation to encourage significant increases in renewable electricity generation
- introducing a financial incentive mechanism aimed at driving a significant increase in the provision of renewable heat
- extending financial support for heat and electricity microgeneration in homes and other buildings, potentially through a feed-in tariff
- applying a clear deployment of planning strategy at regional level to allow the planning system to help deliver the renewables targets
- appropriately incentivising new electricity grid infrastructure and removing access to the transmission system as a barrier to renewables deployment
- exploiting the full opportunity provided by energy from waste potentially by further restricting landfilling biomass
- encouraging new developments in renewable technologies by ensuring effective support
- maximising the benefits for UK plc by providing a long-term policy framework, working with Regional Development Agencies to tackle blockages, considering support for specific technologies and addressing skills shortages.
The consultation closes on 26 September 2008 with a final strategy expected to be in place by spring 2009.
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