“Renewable energy targets unlikely to be achieved”

The government is unlikely to hit its renewable energy targets if it doesn’t come up with a credible plan, Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has said. Top of the agenda at last month’s meeting of the Energy & Climate Committee was a letter written by the Energy Secretary, which had been leaked to the Ecologist website. The letter indicated that the government’s current policies meant it would fail to meet its target of sourcing 15 per cent of renewable energy by 2020.

Ms Rudd admitted that if the government didn’t take action, it was likely that the UK would achieve just 11.5 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2020.

Electricity is on track to meet its 30 per cent target (it currently stands at 20 per cent), but there are misgivings about the heat and transport sectors achieving their 12 per cent and 10 per cent targets.

The Energy Secretary said she recognised it was a challenging situation but emphasised that it was a cross-government target and not just down to DECC. However, it was evident that her department needed to act speedily on renewable heat and she was urging the Department of Transport to do likewise on renewable transport.

She denied that cutting renewables subsidies earlier in the summer had had a detrimental effect, but confirmed that she would be lobbying the Treasury for more funding towards renewable heat solutions such as biomass boilers. One solution to the problem, according to the leaked letter, would be to buy renewable energy from other EU members. However, Ms Rudd stressed that the desirable option “is to deliver it ourselves” and not go down the EU route.

“We have no intention of missing the target. We have four to five years to put policies in place to address that, and that would be my focus” she told the committee.