UK lagging on renewables

4th August 2016

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Mitigation ,
  • Generation ,
  • Renewable


Mark Gahan

The UK is on course to be at least two years late in meeting its target to produce 15% of energy from renewable sources, according to the National Grid.

In its annual Future Energy Scenarios report, the power transmission organisation considered the UK’s energy trajectory to 2050 under four settings depending on the environmental ambition of policy.

Even under the most optimistic one, the UK is likely to meet its target only in 2022, two years later than required under the EU Renewable Energy Directive. The greatest contributor is currently from renewable electricity, which already stands at 25% of all electricity generation. This needs to rise to 34% by 2020, and National Grid is confident this will happen under all scenarios.

But progress in transport is slower, with 14.5 TWh of energy now generated from renewable sources against a 24 TWh needed by 2020. The rate of growth in renewable transport fuel needs to rise from an average of 1 TWh a year on average to 6 TWh, the company estimated.

It noted that, although road transport could be electrified at relatively low cost, aviation and shipping present significant challenges. For renewable heat to achieve its contribution to the target, it needed to increase from current levels of 35 TWh to 60 TWh, National Grid said. The technologies were available to meet this level, but the rate of growth had to rise 2.5 TWh on average to 12.5 TWh a year.

Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said ther were many renewable electricity projects that could provide cheap and clean electricity before 2020 and make up the shortfall from heat and transport. He pointed out, however, that onshore wind and solar were ineligible to bid for long-term contracts for power, and that other technologies could not access support until 2021 at the earliest.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

SBTi clarifies that ‘no change has been made’ to its stance on offsetting

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

Ben Goodwin reflects on policy, practice and advocacy over the past year

2nd April 2024

Read more

In 2020, IEMA and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) jointly wrote and published A User Guide to Climate-Related Financial Disclosures. This has now been updated to include three key developments in the field.

2nd April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close