The government is not on track to achieve its renewable targets set for 2020.
That’s according to the Energy and Climate Change Committee (ECCC) which has warned the Tory Administration, on its current course, will not provide 15% of the country’s energy needs from green sources in the next four years.
Its report states the nation “is three-quarters of the way” towards its 30% green electricity sub-target but it is “not yet halfway towards” its heat and transport sub-targets of 12% and 10% respectively.
The committee said that’s because the proposed reforms to the Renewable Heat Incentive are not “the optimal pathway to achieve the 2020 target” as many heat pumps “have proven unsatisfactory in actual use and yet are being prioritised over biomass”.
However, BEIS told ELN the ECCC “is wrong” as “there is no sub-target for heat”.
Angus MacNeil MP, Chair of the ECCC said: “The experts we spoke to were clear: the UK will miss its 2020 renewable energy targets without major policy improvements. Failing to meet these would damage the UK’s reputation for climate change leadership. The government must take urgent action on heat and transport to renew its efforts on decarbonisation.”
The report also highlighted that closing DECC and creating BEIS will, at best, “enable more joined-up thinking on a low carbon economy” but at worst, the Committee warns “energy and climate change issues could be buried by conflicting concerns”.
Speaking about how the EU 2020 targets could be affected by Brexit, Mr MacNeil added: “We agreed our 2020 renewable energy targets as part of the EU but they still have many merits, even as the UK Government prepares for Brexit.
“If the UK reneges on these targets, it will undermine confidence in the government’s commitment to clean energy and the climate targets agreed in Paris. Progress has been slow but this must be taken as a call to action, not an excuse for backtrack.”
The government insists its “priority is providing secure, affordable and clean energy for families and businesses”.
A spokesperson added: “Renewable energy already makes up around 25% of our electricity and we’re on track to hit our overall targets. The latest Climate Change Performance Index shows the UK is the second best country in the world on tackling climate change.”