Report highlights scope for renewable expansion

There is scope for a “significant expansion” of renewable energy in the UK over the next 20 years, a Committee on Climate Change report has concluded.

It says renewables could account for 30-45% of UK energy by 2030, compared with just 3% at present. In addition, the report says it is crucial the power sector is almost fully decarbonised by 2030, through options such as nuclear, renewables and carbon capture, and storage.

The report says the uptake of renewable heat generation could be increased from very low levels now to around 35% of energy demand by 2030. “To facilitate this, approaches to renewable heat and energy efficiency (the Renewable Heat Incentive and Green Deal) should be integrated. Success will also require accreditation of installers, alongside financial support provided under the Renewable Heat Incentive.

“Firm targets should be set and funding commitments made for the period beyond 2020 as and when current uncertainties are resolved.”

But the report also says it is “inappropriate to plan for significantly increased penetration of biofuels in surface transport beyond 2020”, due to sustainability concerns from the “food versus fuel” debate.

“Under a cautious assumption of 11% biofuels penetration in 2030, the total renewable transport share – including renewable electricity used in electric vehicles – would be around 15%.”

See more