EU Renewables Targets Significantly Influencing UK Government’s Energy Policies, Says GlobalData
As the UK strives to meet its EU target of 15% renewable energy consumption by 2020, the government has taken several steps to reduce the country’s carbon emissions by 34% and 80% by 2020 and 2050, respectively, compared with 1990 levels, according to a report by research and consulting firm GlobalData.
The company’s latest report states that the UK government is now promoting renewable energy sources through a substantial amount of financial support by way of subsidies, active research and development, government-sponsored loans, and tax allowances.
Prasad Tanikella, GlobalData's Senior Analyst covering Alternative Energy, says: “In 2009, the UK Renewables Energy Strategy set a target of generating more than 30% of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020, with technologies such as wind, biomass, hydro, wave and tidal playing important roles.
“The other main aims were to generate at least 12% of heat from renewable energy sources, such as biomass, biogas, solar and heat pumps, and to derive at least 10% of transport energy from renewable sources.”
Under this Strategy, an Office for Renewable Energy Deployment was created within the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) to take forward these commitments. The DECC developed a renewable energy roadmap in 2011 to assess the status of renewables in the UK, which included up to £30 million ($45.24 million) of direct government support for offshore wind cost reductions over the subsequent four years.
GlobalData believes that the UK government’s dedication to wind power has been a vital catalyst in the effort towards meeting its EU targets.
Tanikella explains: “Wind power installed capacity accelerated from 534 Megawatts in 2002 to approximately 8.9 Gigawatts (GW) in 2012, and is expected to increase further, reaching almost 31.6 GW by 2020, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 16.9%.
“The UK’s rapid expansion of wind power installations is largely thanks to favorable government policies and attractive concession programs, such as the Offshore Transmission Owner policy in 2009 and the Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force in 2011.”