Renewable Energy Technologies - Too Little - Too Slow

Renewable Energy Technologies - Too Little - Too Slow

U.K. Public Accounts Committee slams lack of progress in deployment of renewable energy technologies

A British House of Commons Committee has released a report highly critical of the slow pace in the development and deployment of renewable energy technologies.

Margaret Hodge, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said "Given the urgency and importance of the issue, progress in meeting renewable energy targets has been unacceptably slow over the last decade."

She noted ten years ago the proportion of the UK's electricity supplied from renewable sources stood at 2.7 per cent. By 2009 it was just 6.7 per cent, well short of the government's target to generate 10 per cent by the end of 2010.

The Committee was particularly concerned that the U.K. has agreed to a legally binding EU-target to supply 15 per cent of the UK's energy from renewable sources by 2020, but lacks clear plans for each renewable energy technology. Nor is the government clear on how much funding will be required.

As for meeting the longer-term 2050 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent, the Department of Energy and Climate Change has yet to set out the timescale against which innovations in renewable energy technology will be required, states the report.

Speaking as the Committee's Report was being released, Ms Hodge noted that developing renewable energy technologies is vitally important if the UK is to help tackle climate change and maintain secure national energy supplies.

However, the U.K. is going to miss its target to supply 10% of electricity from renewable sources by the end of 2010 largely because not enough has been done to address the slow progress in increasing the supply of renewable energy.

"Between 2000 and 2009, the Department and its predecessors failed to use nearly half of the resources available to it to encourage innovation in renewable energy. This is a wasted opportunity for providing investment that could have helped increase the supply of renewable energy," she noted.

The current Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne, said his department was determined to remedy the situation. "It will be a huge challenge but the coalition is determined to move beyond promises and actually deliver on the low-carbon economy," he said during a BBC interview.

"The last 10 years have been a lost decade for renewables. Labour's tragic legacy is that we are 25th out of 27 EU member states on renewables. We have been playing as amateurs when we should have been in the Premiership," said Huhne.

U.K. Committee of Public Accounts report slams government progress in deployment of renewable energy technologies.

The full Report - Funding the development of renewable energy technologies is available here