Britain promises 'green revolution' with energy plan

"15 percent of all of our energy from renewables by 2020," said Energy Minister Wicks.

Britain promises 'green revolution' with energy plan

As many as a quarter of British homes could be fitted with solar heating systems and thousands of wind turbines erected across the country under government plans for a "green revolution" to be set out next week.

Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said the plans, which may include measures to force homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, were aimed at dramatically increasing Britain's energy supplies from renewables by 2020.

"You will see this week a real determination by the government to move towards 15 percent of all of our energy from renewables by 2020," he said. "That is a green revolution."

Britain gets less than 5 percent of its electricity from renewables, mainly wind. The government has committed Britain to getting 10 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2010, and under a European Union deal last year it is also committed to quadrupling that a decade later.

According to Saturday's Guardian newspaper, which has seen a copy of the government plan, the proposals seek a 30-fold increase in off-shore wind power generation, new loans and grants for businesses to increase green energy supply, a compulsory measure on households to boost energy efficiency.

The plans recognise that the new energy policy could transform large areas of Britain's landscape and have a "significant impacts on all our lives ... not all of these positive", the Guardian reported.

The plans, due to be unveiled next week, come after a parliamentary report published on Thursday warned Britain would not meet its own renewable energy targets, and would fail to meet EU requirements, unless it stepped up action substantially.

Phil Willis, head of parliament's innovation, universities, science and skills select committee, said the group had been "consistently disappointed by the lack of urgency expressed by the government -- and at times by the electricity industry -- in relation to the challenge ahead".

But Wicks, speaking on BBC radio, insisted there was now a "huge momentum" in renewable energy provision and said the government would ensure that carbon emission reduction was the "core concept behind our energy strategy".

He described the proposals as "the most ambitious renewable energy strategy for Britain that we have ever seen".

Reuters
Last Mod: 22 Haziran 2008, 11:12
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