Current Energy Policy Insufficient To Meet Renewable Targets

biomethane

The Energy and Climate Change Select Committee today (9 September) released its report 2020 renewable heat and transport targets, which concludes that “on its current course, the UK will fail to achieve its 2020 renewable energy targets.”

Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association (REA) said: “Meeting our 2020 targets is a no-regrets policy, not only because we need new investment in our energy supply but because supporting renewable heat and transport now will be critical to meeting our carbon budgets in the 2020’s.

“The renewable heat industry has been vocal in their concern about proposed Government reforms, but under the right framework is ready to deliver on the 2020 commitments.”

“In the past week the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies, formally committed to long-term decarbonisation by signing the Paris Climate Agreement. The scale of low carbon investment that we can expect in the coming decades is in the trillions of dollars globally. It is therefore critical, as this report highlights, that renewables and decarbonisation are at the heart of the Government’s future Industrial Strategy.”

The report found that in order to meet targets, greater cooperation between government departments is needed.

It found that Government cannot rely on complete heat electrification and that bioenergy has a clear role in decarbonising heat.

It also states that biomethane is a key technology for the deployment of low-carbon heat and the decarbonisation of heavy goods vehicles and that the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) tariffs for biomethane and biomass boilers are “too low and need be restructured”.

A cap on crops used for renewable transport fuels should be set at a level that would enable targets to be met, according to the report and that the introduction of E10 into the fuel mix needs to be implemented to meet transport targets.

It also recommends Government to do more to support the deployment of electric vehicles.

Frank Aaskov, policy analyst the REA, said: “The RHI needs to be reformed to further support the use of biomethane on the gas grid and in transport, and biomass heat at all scales. The renewable heat industry has been vocal in their concern about proposed Government reforms, but under the right framework is ready to deliver on the 2020 commitments.”

The REA’s head of renewable transport, Clare Wenner, said: “The renewable fuels industry has risen to the challenges set to them by the Government so far, including the complete elimination of palm oil as a feedstock. The industry is ready to deliver if the government increases its ambition, which could be done by urgently raising the target level, introducing E10 into the fuel mix, setting a reasonable cap on the use of crops, and increasing support for electric vehicles.”

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