For the first time in decades the UK will not commit to a new renewable energy target. And the effect this may have on the nation's developing green technology doesn't look good.
Creating even more uncertainty, climate change secretary Ed Davey intends to let the market decide. Davey says the UK doesn’t need to set a specific goal because the carbon budget already demands low-carbon growth. But that energy could come from non-renewable sources, including nuclear power and fracking.
Supporters of renewable energy say Davey’s reasoning is deceptive because the indirect costs of fossil-fuel generation - its effects on climate, health and environment - are not figured in.
The current target, which goes to 2020, has been a key factor in the growth of wind and solar power and in making it more affordable. Failing to set a new goal is just another way of promoting shale gas exploration - on which the Treasury seems very keen.
Tell UK Climate Change Secretary Davey he MUST set a renewable energy goal beyond 2020!
We, the undersigned, say it’s irresponsible for climate change secretary Ed Davey to fail to commit to an updated renewable energy target.
The Guardian reports that the current goal, which expires in 2020, is responsible for encouraging and assisting the growth of solar and wind power - now generating 15% of the UK‘s electricity.
Many fear the failure to commit to a new goal beyond 2020 will result in a major setback. They feel that damage has been done already due to the lack of commitment, as evidenced by Germany’s RWEN power cutting by half its planned renewable investments in the UK last week, and other investments being “slow to materialise.”
UK’s Renewable Energy Association points out that setting binding renewable energy targets does two things: “First, they give a major long-term boost to investor confidence, helping accelerate market growth and technology-cost reduction. Second, politics frequently trumps economics in the real world, and when politicians go wobbly on renewables, the targets help keep investment flowing."
UK’s failure to set a target is particularly irresponsible in light the Treasury's eager promotion of shale gas exploration, offering that industry tax breaks and other incentives, which the Guardian reports “may soon be challenged under European state aid rules.”
We request that climate change secretary Davey set a renewable energy goal beyond 2020.