UK falls badly behind on renewable energy targets

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The UK is not on track to meet its 2020 European renewables targets, according to the European Renewable Energy Council EREC.According to the annual update of EREC’s ‘Keep on Track’ project, the UK lies 25th out of 27 member states for renewables contribution.The research work focused on eleven EU Member States; Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.Among these, only three Austria, Italy, Sweden are expected to meet their 2020 targets. The consortium has serious doubts as to whether Bulgaria, Germany, Greece and Portugal will be able to meet theirs and Belgium, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom are expected to miss their targets altogether.In addition, preliminary figures from the Renewable Energy Association REA, show that the UK is the only member state in the project which did not achieve its first interim target under the directive by the end of 2011 4.04% for 2011 to 2012.The report identifies the barriers to the development of renewable energy sources RES.In the UK’s case they are listed as: Low confidence in the market due to mixed signals from the Government, uncertainty over the future of support measures and intense pressure to reduce costs.• The lack of a clear plan and measures to support distributed generation. Uncertainty that grid extensions to capture remote resource will be made, or made in time.• Obtaining planning permission is becoming increasingly difficult for some technologies, not helped by mixed signals from Government ministers.• Developers and funders are concerned that the necessary quantity and quality of biomass fuel may not be available, at least at the current price, over the life of a biomass power plant project.• Uncertainty over the future of support measures discourages companies from entering the sector and acquiring the necessary skills to undertake installations.EREC President Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes said: “It’s plain sailing for the 21 member states who have already achieved their 2012 targets in 2011.

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