Brussels, 10 January 2002
The UK's Energy Minister, Brian Wilson, has announced that 2002 will be 'the year of renewables' in his country, and that the government is investing around 420 million euro in the development of renewable technologies over the next three years.
At present, less than three per cent of electricity in the UK comes from renewables, but the government is committed to a ten per cent target by 2010. The UK is behind the EU average of six per cent in terms of renewable energy production, and this target still falls short of the Commission's target of 12 per cent for 2010, as set out in its 'white paper for a community strategy'.
A substantial part of the UK funding will go towards the deployment of the first generation of the UK's off shore wind farms and energy crops power plants, two of the biggest potential growth areas.
'The opportunity now exists for potentially viable projects to gain the support and access that they need. I want to support each of the renewable technologies to the point of establishing which of them have viable futures in the UK context. There are opportunities for very small projects, at community or even household level, and also for large ones,' said Mr Wilson.
Mr Wilson is aware that he has set an ambitious goal, even if it is lower than that of the European Commission.
'I certainly want to see us aiming higher than ten per cent in the years beyond 2010. However, the reality is that we are starting from a low base and it will take a lot of commitment, not least by the government itself to reach the ten per cent,' he said.
The Commission's action plan for obtaining the 12 per cent target involves internal market measures in the regulatory and fiscal spheres; reinforcement of those Community policies which have a bearing on increased penetration by renewable energies; proposals for strengthening co-operation between Member States; and support measures to facilitate investment and enhance dissemination and information in the renewables field.
For further information on renewable energy in the EU, please consult the following web address: http://europa.eu.int/comm/energy/en/alt pres.html
For further information on EU research into energy, please consult the following web address: http://www.cordis.lu/eesd
Data Source Provider: UK Department of Trade and Industry and Transport and Energy DG
Document Reference: Based on information from the UK Department of Trade and Industry and Transport and Energy DG
Programme or Service Acronym: FRAMEWORK 5C; EESD; MS-UK C
Subject Index : Renewable Sources of Energy