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Renewable Energy

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 5th July 2012.

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Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Conservative, Selby and Ainsty

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will express targets for renewable energy production in terms of the total amount of energy produced rather than installed capacity.

Photo of Charles Hendry Charles Hendry The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

The UK has a target under the Renewable Energy Directive 2009 to produce 15% of its of energy from renewable sources by 2020, calculated on a net calorific basis across the electricity, heat and transport sectors, and with a cap on fuel used for air transport.

We estimated in the Renewable Energy Roadmap (published July 2011) that this would equate to around 234 TeraWatt hours (TWh) of eligible renewable energy generation, based on forecast energy demand in 2020.

The following table sets out a technology breakdown in TWh for a central view of renewables deployment in 2020, based on a total target of 234 TWh across the electricity, heat and transport sectors.

Technology breakdown (TWh) for central view of deployment in 2020(1)
Onshore wind 24-32
Offshore wind 33-58
Biomass electricity 32-50
Marine 1
Biomass heat (non-domestic) 36-50
Air-source and Ground-source heat pumps (non-domestic) 16-22
Renewable transport Up to 48
Others (including hydro, geothermal, solar and domestic heat) 14
Estimated 15% target 234
(1)Source: Renewable Energy Roadmap:

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Yes1 person thinks so

No15 people think not

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Bill Short
Posted on 6 Jul 2012 1:31 pm (Report this annotation)

This answer is helpful with a little calculation.
The 24-32TWh for on-shore wind equates to exactly 2738-3650MW average or at achievable load factor of 28% to an Installed Capacity of 10,000MW to 13,000MW.

That is very useful to compare with current planning data from DECC REPD.
Onshore wind - 11,237MW already with planning approval last month.
A further 6,397MW of on-shore applications in awaiting determination.

So we already will be well above the lower level as soon as the developers finish building them.
To even achieve the highest level, the 32TWh, we would only need about 1/4 of the current applications approved.

We can afford to be very selective - only the best with least damage to the rural communities and landscape now to be approved.
We certainly don't need more applications coming in.

Essential that Ministers apply the brakes now - otherwise we simply damage our UK rural environment by exceeding necessary targets.

We also damage the whole public perception of working together to lower emissions and reduce climate damage.
We unnecessarily cause antagonism and division.