The UK Government has been criticised by the European Commission for failing to make sufficient progress towards EU-wide renewable energy targets – adding to calls for the Tories to reverse their damaging cuts to renewables support.
The UK is among those countries furthest away from reaching their renewables targets, with only France and the Netherlands further from their 2020 goal.
Each EU country has a target for renewable growth, which takes into account the different starting points, renewable energy potential and economic performance. Only the Netherlands (5.5%), Malta (4.7%) and Luxembourg (4.5%) produce a lower proportion of renewable energy than the UK. In contrast, renewable energy has been a success story in Scotland, with 49.7% of our electricity consumption now coming from renewable sources, which make up approximately 29% of total UK renewable output.
The SNP Government’s target is for 100% of Scotland’s electricity demand to be supplied from renewable sources by 2020.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
"The UK Government should be embarrassed that they are so far behind their renewable energy targets and is being named and shamed as one of the worst performing countries in the EU. “In Scotland, renewable energy already accounts for almost half of our household electricity demand. Yet Tory cuts to support for onshore renewables threaten to undermine the formidable progress we’ve made. “Clean, sustainable, green energy will play a fundamental role in meeting Scotland’s energy needs and our ambitious climate change targets. “We are ambitious about Scotland’s renewable potential and our contribution to global efforts to tackle climate change – if the UK Government is serious about meeting their commitments, they will halt their damaging cuts to renewables support.” European Commission figures on renewable energy can be viewed here: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/news/renewable-energy-share-rose-16-2014