Renewable resources need £1bn, says report

5 Jul 01
Government ministers need to set up a £1bn package for sustainable energies, a Left-wing think-tank has warned.

06 July 2001

The Fabian Society's report, At the energy crossroads – policies for a low carbon economy, states that current government funding of £260m over three years will not create an effective renewable energy market. This is compounded by the requirement that licensed electricity suppliers provide 10% of electricity from sustainable sources by 2010.

The report concedes that the UK should meet the Kyoto protocol target agreed earlier this year and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5% by 2008 at the earliest. But it suggests the government will struggle to achieve a 60% reduction by 2050, as recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Royal Commission for Environment Pollution.

Stewart Boyle, an energy consultant and co-author of the report, told Public Finance: 'Without coherent policies, new institutions and decent resources, we will be unprepared for a low carbon future.'

To achieve a viable renewable energy market, the report recommends that the £1bn support package should include £150m for solar power and £800m for offshore wind power. It also urges the government to create a sustainable energy agency and a 'czar' to co-ordinate policies.

The government has said it expects to create a £1bn market for renewable energy by 2010 and plans to invest millions of pounds in renewable technologies, including £49m in offshore wind power and £33m in energy crops.

A Department of Trade and Industry spokesman said: 'We are serious about renewable energy. There has already been an announcement of 18 offshore wind farms.'


Did you enjoy this article?