REA responds to the Committee on Climate Change’s advice to Government

In response to the Committee on Climate Change’s letter to Chris Huhne advising on the 2020 target, Gaynor Hartnell, Chief Executive of the REA, said:

“We agree with the Committee’s headline recommendation of sticking with the 15% target, but putting greater emphasis on ensuring that it is actually delivered.  We will be scrutinising the Committee's recommendations closely over the coming week and making a full response to Government in due course.”

However see caveats below:

On transport fuels…

“The recommendation to undershoot the 10% mandatory target set out in the Renewable Energy Directive is bitterly disappointing.  It would be illegal, too, unless electric transport fills the shortfall.  We don’t agree with Gallagher as our own study shows that 80% of the UK and EU’s biofuels could come from domestic production, which has excellent environmental standards. We had our report peer reviewed by Imperial College London, and we urge Government to take its conclusions into account and reject the Committee’s advice.   Otherwise we’ll see yet more damage to investor confidence among UK biofuel producers”.

On renewable heat…

 “The Committee calls on the Government to set out a detailed position on the future of the Renewable Heat Incentive, saying that the current uncertainty is resulting in projects not progressing.  The Committee is spot-on when it says “time is being lost in implementing a very ambitious deployment schedule”.  The delay is having a disproportionate impact on smaller firms risking future diversity in the sector.”

On renewable power…

  “The committee is right to call for the offshore wind transmission regime to be addressed, and in highlighting the shortcomings in the planning regime, but we’d have liked more emphasis on biomass.  5 gigawatts of power could be delivered by 2020. That would give three times more output the amount of onshore wind currently on the system.  The Committee calls for uncertainties in banding to be resolved, and we thoroughly agree.  The Department of Energy and Climate Change has just removed one major barrier, by confirming that support levels remain in place for 20 years, the industry needs certainty about how projects will be treated when the banding review takes place.”

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