The Renewables Advisory Board (RAB) has reported the UK could generate 14% of its total energy from renewables by 2020 if a set of identified radical policy changes are put into effect quickly. Recommendations include accelerating grid studies, streamlined consenting processes, early introduction of revised support mechanisms and, most importantly, strong political leadership.
The Board has also advised the Government how the additional measures could go on to achieve the full 15% share required by the EU's renewable energy target.
In order to do this, experts in four sectors (bulk electricity, bulk heat, built environment and transport) were each asked to predict what could be delivered by 2020 with significant but achievable policy change. In total, the expert groups felt able to forecast bulk electricity could provide 7.1%; bulk heat could provide 0.9%; built environment 3.3%; and transport at 2.7%.
With a further 1% remaining, the report sets out three possible options but stressed that delivery of each will present further challenges to meet the ambitious proposed target.
The report concludes the 2020 target of 15% UK energy from renewables is achievable, but that rapid development of a transformed energy framework with radically new economic, political and social drivers is necessary. RAB also identified that renewables must be at the heart of energy policy and that many new policies are required and some, urgently.
Alan Moore, Co-Chairman of RAB said: "If the 15% target is to be approached we need to establish a different energy world. Many of these changes will need to be radical and will require, above all else, political leadership and a determination to succeed.
"Industry and commerce themselves stand ready to deliver but, as ever in the renewables industry, the greatest investment risk is seen as political risk. Investors need to be confident that government is determined to achieve its own targets."
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