The UK is reportedly investigating how it could scrap its renewable energy targets for 2020 without disrupting trade in energy with the rest of the EU. Bloomberg reported this morning that officials at the Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) are looking at how to drop the UK’s legally binding target to source 15 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2020. The move had been widely expected given the UK government has been a long-standing critic of the targets, arguing they limit the ability of governments to meet carbon targets using alternative technologies , such as nuclear, carbon capture and storage, or energy efficiency gains, that may be more suitable for their national circumstances. However, supporters of the targets maintain they have helped mobilise investment in renewables that has resulted in drastic cost reductions for renewable technologies, such as onshore wind farms and solar. The UK is thought to be particularly keen to see the targets for 2020 dropped as it is currently on track to narrowly miss the goal, due to a slower than expected roll out of renewable heat and clean transport technologies. It is also said to be opposed to new targets to source 27 per cent of EU energy from renewables by 2030. Missing the 2020 target could leave the UK liable for millions of pounds of fines – a scenario that would result in a major political challenge for the government post-Brexit.
Business Green 5th April 2017 read more »
Britain is looking for ways to scrap its 2020 clean energy targets while maintaining everyday trade in Europe’s energy market, an early sign of the kind of cherry-picking that threatens to sour Brexit negotiations. Officials in the Treasury and the business department are looking for a way to abandon the national goal of getting 15 percent renewable energy by 2020, which is almost double the current level, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Erasing the target would allow Britain to skirt fines that could reach tens of millions of pounds since it’s on track to narrowly miss the 2020 goal. It would also move the U.K. out of step with other European Union nations that maintain targets as part of their membership in the region’s energy market. The U.K. wishes to preserve its link to the market and smooth cross-border trading of electricity, which has helped lower power prices, the person said.
Bloomberg 5th April 2017 read more »