British Government Unveils Ambitious Renewable Energy Agenda


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After several false starts, the British government is set to finally unveil its renewable energy strategy next week, The Guardian's John Vidal reports. The UK will need to invest £100 billion (roughly $197 billion) to build up its clean technology infrastructure if it is to successfully meet EU-imposed guidelines to produce 15 percent of the country's energy from renewable sources by 2020.

Renewable plan guidelines
The renewable push could allow the country to slash its emissions production by almost 20 percent and cut its oil consumption by 7 percent over the next 12 years. To do so, the UK will need to generate 30-35 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. Two key components are outfitting 1 in 4 British homes with solar heating equipment and building 3,500 new wind turbines across the countryside.


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A major rethink of the country's energy infrastructure will be required to implement the proposals, the government plan states. Expanding the National Grid and providing loans and grants to businesses and individual customers are just a few of the suggested recommendations. The transition, though costly to put into practice (the plan estimates reaching EU goals could cost up to 1 percent of GDP), will likely create significant savings and boost the economy down the line.

Other specific guidelines include (for the full list, see Vidal's article):
· A 30-fold increase in offshore wind power generation
· An area the size of Essex to be planted with trees and other crops to produce biomass energy

Whether this ambitious strategy comes to pass remains to be seen. As Matthew explained last week, there are doubts among industry groups and environmentalists that the government's renewable goals will be met. A faulty quota system, feed-in tariffs and government backpedaling are cited as missteps that have cost the UK a potential lead in the renewable race.

This new strategy, if implemented effectively, could yet help the country match its European compatriots' exploits.

Via ::The Guardian: Revealed: UK's blueprint for a green revolution (news website)

Renewable energy in the U.K.
::Renewable Energy Target in UK Will Not Be Reached, Industry Board Says
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::Wind Energy Could Power All of Britain's Homes by 2020

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