Windpower is likely to be the dominant renewable technology until 2020, a report out today concludes.
According to the Department of Trade and Industry, on-and off-shore wind can deliver almost all of the required growth to meet the 2010 renewable energy target and wind is likely to be the dominant technology as far as 2020.
However, the Renewables Innovation Review warns that windpower alone will not have enough resource to achieve the estimated contribution that renewable energy will need to make in order to meet the Government’s 2050 carbon reduction target.
‘We cannot afford to rest on our laurels,’ Energy Minister Stephen Timms said. ‘This report demonstrates the impact wind energy is set to have and confirms our view that the 2010 renewable energy target is achievable.
‘But we must think strategically both about long-term policy and funding if we are going to exploit the full economic and environmental potential of our renewables industry.’
The review – conducted jointly by the DTI and the Carbon Trust – identifies the way ahead for the industry if the UK’s renewable targets, carbon reduction aspirations and desired economic benefits are to be met.
The report’s summary concludes that all renewable energy technologies have the potential to make a material contribution to the Government’s long-term carbon reduction aspirations. The report also highlights the important role that fuel cells may be able to play in delivering large carbon savings through improved efficiency.
But long-term policy measures and incentives will be important if a wide range of renewable and other low carbon technologies are to be deployed on a large-scale basis.
Earlier this week, figures from the Government indicated an increase in greenhouse gas emissions in 2003. Friends of the Earth has calculated that compared to 2002, emissions of carbon dioxide from energy rose by approximately 3 per cent in 2003. Friends of the Earth blames the increase on a rise in energy consumption and a return to coal burning.