for the development of renewable energy, and enable millions of
consumers to 'go green'.
governing how much energy suppliers must provide from green power -
beyond 2010-11, to 2015-16, are expected to lead to the development
of enough renewable energy to power up to three million additional homes.
Energy minister Stephen Timms told renewable industry representatives
he had 'listened and responded' to their concerns about the levels of
investor confidence in renewables, which some feared might threaten
the future of the sector.
Speaking to the first annual meeting of the renewables advisory
board, Mr Timms announced the government would increase the level of
the RO in stages, for five more years beyond 2010-11.
Mr Timms said: 'We have responded to the calls of the renewable
sector to give stability beyond 2010. In giving an increased level of
certainty to the renewables industry, we are providing the ingredients
for more confidence on the part of the investment sector. The
government has listened and responded. Our 'big conversation' has
'I am now looking to the industry to respond. We need to get those
developments with consents and capital grants built as soon as
possible if we are to meet our renewables targets, and to sustain and
create more jobs in the UK.'
The minister admitted that there were 'formidable challenges' ahead,
if the government's targets on renewable energy were to be met. The
energy white paper, published in February, committed the UK to
generating 10% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2010,
with the aspiration of doubling that percentage by 2020.
'Achieving these targets is far from straightforward and will not be
plain sailing,' said Mr Timms. 'But we must not lose sight of the
rewards. As well as making a significant contribution to reducing
carbon emissions, increasing the contribution of renewables offers
the prospect of developing a significant UK industry, creating jobs
and developing world class companies able to compete for the growing
renewables business both here and overseas.'
The level of the RO was 3% when it was introduced last year. It now
stands at 4.3%, and will increase each year to reach 10.4% in
2010-11. It will now increase beyond 2010-11 as follows:
Today's announcement was hailed by industry as proof the government
was 'serious' about meeting the renewable energy targets outlined in
the energy white paper in February.
Marcus Rand, chief executive of the British Wind Energy Association
said: 'This is a wonderful early Christmas present for the UK wind
and renewables industry. We are delighted that the government has
listened to advice and acted so decisively by significantly
increasing the nation's renewables target. It is the icing on the
cake of a great year for wind energy. We will now go forward into the
New Year with a massive boost of confidence behind us. Today's
announcement will be seen as a key stepping stone to making our 20%
by 2020 renewable aspiration a working reality.'
Philip Wofle, chief executive of the Renewable Power Association
said: 'We have advised successive energy ministers that raising the RO
quotas was essential to encourage the £10bn of new investment needed.
We congratulate Stephen Timms and his officials on this timely
response, which will greatly increase the likelihood of meeting the
government's ambitious targets for renewables.'
And Alan Moore, managing director of National Wind Power, which
opened the UK's first major offshore wind farm, at North Hoyle, last
month, said: 'This is very good news for the wind industry. The ability
to assess the value of rene wable electricity for a further five years
will increase industry confidence when making long-term investment
decisions. Perhaps more importantly, it is a clear sign that the
government is serious about its aspiration of achieving 20% by 2020.'
1. Renewables Obligation
Introduced in April 2002, the RO calls on all licensed electricity
suppliers in England & Wales to supply a specified and growing
proportion of their electricity sales from a choice of eligible
renewable sources. The RO is the key policy mechanism by which the
government is encouraging the growth necessary to reach the UK's
renewable energy targets. Individual suppliers are responsible for
demonstrating that compliance to the energy regulator Ofgem, through
a system of renewables obligation certificates. In order to
provide a stable and long-term market for renewable energy, the
obligation will remain in place until 2027. Yearly targets had
already been set up to the 2010/2011 period.
2. The energy white paper was published on 24 February 2003 and can
be found on the DTI website at www.dti.gov.uk/energy/whitepaper
3. Renewables Advisory Board
The minister was launching the first report of the renewables
advisory board, set up to bring industry and government together to
promote the deployment of renewable energy in the UK. It has
established working groups to address the key themes in the advance
of renewables: communication; finance and investment; connection to
the grid; innovation; jobs; and planning. Copies of the report are
available from the DTI website: www.dti.gov.uk/energy