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Next government will be “crucial” for delivering on renewables targets

The next Government will be “crucial” for determining whether or not the UK achieves its 15% renewable energy target by 2020, according to the Renewable Energy Association (REA).

Currently the UK produces only 2.3% of its total energy from renewable sources such as biomass and anaerobic digestion, and has been one of the poorest performers on delivering renewable to date. But the Renewable Energy Directive commits the UK to delivering 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

The REA has set out its 10-point manifesto outlining the actions it believes the next Government must adopt in order to meet the EU directive target.

The actions outlined are:

- Strong visible political leadership on renewable heat, power, transport and greening the gas grid

- A stable framework for investment

- Clear institutional framework and a strong renewables delivery body

- Effective incentives for renewable electricity

- Renewable heat incentive must be introduced by April 2011

- Expediate network access and smart grids

- Drive forward good biofuels

- Strategic approach to national planning

- Dedicated strategy for skills and jobs

- Green investment bank

The actions which apply particularly to the waste and recycling sector include the effective incentives for renewable electricity. This relates to the streamlining of the Renewables Obligation to encourage more people to invest in technologies such as anaerobic digestion.

The development of biofuels is also of note. The Labour Party’s environment manifesto, released today, also recognised the importance of developing biofuels. It said: “We will press for the earliest possible introduction of rigorous EU sustainability standards for biofuels.”

REA chief executive Gaynor Hartnell 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.”

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