Emissions, Renewables

UK Renewables group seek help for emerging technologies

25 March 2004 – Philip Wolfe, Chief Executive of the UK’s Renewable Power Association (RPA), has called for transitional support for emerging renewable technologies, to ensure that the Government’s energy policy targets can be met.

An RPA team was giving oral evidence to the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee. It is conducting an inquiry into the practicalities of developing renewable energy.

Philip Wolfe said: “The Government says that its target for 10 per cent electricity to come from renewables by 2010 can still be met. It will more likely be reached two years late, if everything goes right. The Government’s aim of 20 per cent or more by 2020 can be achieved. But that will only happen if diversity of sources is encouraged in the right way, starting now.”

“Wave, solar, biomass and tidal energy need transitional help so they can play a greater part in the energy market in the decade to 2020. This will also ensure that there is a real market once the technologies are proven.”

Mr Wolfe summarised the changes the RPA would like to see. “Before the Review of the Renewables Obligation in 2005-06, we would like to see the terms of reference clarified to minimise the fear of Government tinkering.”

“We would also like the transitional support introduced before then. This is not a matter for the review, as the mechanism we propose is outside (but complementary to) the RO, which should remain ‘technology blind’.”

Mr Wolfe called for continuing R & D support for developing technologies. “The UK has world class expertise in wave power, tidal stream, polycrystalline solar cell materials and BiPV. The DTI’s Innovation Review has been too pessimistic about the part these resources can play. They can be bigger and developed sooner than it thinks. If these technologies are not pursued with much more urgency now, the UK will again miss out.”