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The government is urged to invest more in renewable energy

This week sees a fresh call from the Renewable Energy Association (REA) for more investment to hit the UK’s 15% renewable energy target by 2020.

With the election looming, climate change is high on political agendas, but the winning party will be crucial in achieving the target according to the REA.

Gaynor Hartnell, the REA’s Chief Executive said, ‘If we’re serious about energy security and global warming, nothing needs to change more than our energy system. The new government, of whatever colour, must redouble efforts to deliver the 2020 renewable energy target.’

She added, ‘Meeting that target is essential for plugging the UK’s looming energy gap, reducing emissions and securing the jobs and economic opportunities of the future.’

Only 2.3% of the current energy produced in the UK comes from renewable energy sources like anaerobic digestion and biomass, so to achieve the 15% goal in a decade is ambitious. Nevertheless, the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive means the UK is committed to delivering it.

The REA has put together a manifesto detailing what the elected party must do in their opinion to achieve the 15% renewable energy target. It includes actions like the introduction of a renewable heat incentive by April 2011, a green investment bank and an institutional body responsible for delivering renewables.

Other requirements included in the recommendation were a need to drive forward good biofuels, effective incentives for renewable electricity and a stable framework for investment.

The REA indicated it had used research from McKinsey, the consultants, who found renewable energy sources to cost around the same as conventional ones.

News released by the Labour Party this week showed their commitment to the development of biofuels. It said, ‘We will press for the earliest possible introduction of rigorous EU sustainability standards for biofuels’.

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