With EU energy targets quickly approaching, bills fluctuating enormously, and growing public concern over how the next generation are going to generate and store energy, the next Government is going to have a great deal of work to do. Not only to win back public trust and sway opinion, but to start the country down the right energy path. The Renewable Energy Association (REA) have recognised this and set about publishing a comprehensive 'manifesto' for renewable heat, power and transport...
The REA placed great emphasis on the 2015 Government being in the driving seat for whether the UK meets or fails its EU targets. It also claimed that this Government would, with the right decisions, be able to make what is now a budding renewable sector into one of the country's main economic drivers. The main objective behind this growth is to limit the UK's dependence on imported fossil fuels, saving money and creating a greener country. Emphasis is going to be on providing clean electricity, and homes which currently have energy efficient electrical heating solutions, good insulation, and perhaps even a method of generating energy at home (such as solar panels) will be in a position to benefit the most.
What is the report?
REA have called it 'Growing the Renewable Energy Economy' and it's a type of blueprint for what it thinks the Government should do in order to improve the UK's chances of meeting, and even exceeding, its objectives. It's focussed on key technologies from heating and general power, to transport fuels and other energy costs. Contrary to what you may think, this isn't a report which is steeped in 'greenspeak' with the focus being solely on the environment and nothing else - it's a carefully thought out, balanced manifesto which takes everything into account - the main focus being something that is stable and sustainable.
"In the EU renewables league table, the UK are currently 26th out of 28, but REA claim that their manifesto could help us catch up."
The manifesto is designed to focus on 6 key requests outlined recently by the Action for Renewables campaign:
1. Support the Climate Change Act to keep the UK on course to meet its carbon commitments and back global efforts to tackle climate change
2. Set a new renewables target of 30% of UK energy by 2030
3. Back the Independent Committee on Climate Change's recommendation to set a binding target for low carbon electricity by 2030
4. Fund the Renewable Heat Incentive for new applications after 2016
5. Boost the UK's Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation to reach the 10% renewable energy target for transport by 2020
6. Reform the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to ensure the market takes account of all sectors' polluting cost of carbon emissions
The Chief Executive of REA said, "From clean power infrastructure to Zero Carbon Homes and from heat networks to sustainable transport, this is the most comprehensive guide a government could wish for if they’re seeking to maximise the value of this young, vibrant and innovative industry." The report has also been recognised by key members of the Government, including the current energy secretary Ed Davey, commenting on how it could help him and the Liberal Democrats achieve their goal of cutting consumer bills and building a fairer energy market moving forward. For its part, the Renewable Energy Association said it will continue to work with fellow trade associations and other stakeholders to make the case for growing the renewable energy economy in the run-up to the general election. Hopefully, we'll begin to see change soon and things will start moving in a very positive direction for UK energy.
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