The UK needs to increase investment in renewable energy sources if it is to meet EU climate change targets, according to a report out this week.
The report was published by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), an independent body set up to advise the government on reducing the UK’s carbon footprint.
The report advocates that at least 30 per cent of the UK’s energy should be produced from renewables by 2030.
The committee also suggests that a share of up to 45% would be feasible, if the cost of renewable technologies were to fall and if the Government were to pursue policies that would allow the low-carbon technologies to be implemented.
Professor Jim Skea, Research Director of the UK Energy Research Centre, said: “If we are going to move towards a low carbon energy system, it is imperative that government provides certainty to investors and backs up targets with firm, bankable contracts. Only then will the required portfolio of low carbon technologies, including a major contribution from renewables, come forward.”
Another key recommendation of the report is that the UK should moderate its offshore wind ambitions in favour of cheaper onshore wind farm projects.
However, there are fears over the inherent intermittency of some renewable forms of power generation, particularly wind and solar.
The report puts forward a number of potential solutions to this problem, including: introducing policies to encourage flexibility in power demand, creating physical infrastructure to interconnect different power sources, and setting up back-up generators for when supply is low.
Chair of the Committee on Climate Change, Lord Adair Turner said: “The focus now should be creating a stable investment climate for renewables, making longer-term commitments to support less mature technologies, and putting in place incentives to deliver significantly increased investment in renewable power and heat generation required over the next decade”.