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Government renewables strategy 'gets serious' on fossil fuel dependency

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The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) has claimed the government’s national renewable energy strategy, released yesterday (26 June), is ‘the moment Gordon Brown got serious’ on renewables.

The blueprint, designed to slash the UK’s fossil fuel dependency and help Britain meet its proposed 15 per cent renewable energy target by 2020, was unveiled by Business Secretary John Hutton as a ‘new chapter in Britain’s history’.

The strategy proposes:

• raising the renewables obligation to ensure 30-35 per cent of our electricity comes from renewable sources;
• introducing new financial incentives to encourage a ‘very large’ increase in renewable heat in homes and other buildings; and
• offering financial support for heat and electricity microgeneration technologies in all buildings – potentially via feed-in tariffs.

UK-GBC chief executive Paul King said: ‘The strategy rightly recognises the massive potential for a range of technologies to help meet our climate change goals.

‘Some will say the targets are too challenging, but this is the right level of effort at the right time. It should also create jobs and spur growth in green industries.’

He added: ‘The Prime Minister’s plans for a renewed push on energy efficiency might not sound as exciting as renewables, but it is hugely important. The cheapest, most secure and most environmentally friendly policy is to use less energy in the first place.’

As well as potentially providing 160,000 new jobs, the government is claiming the new strategy will deliver 4,000 new onshore wind farms as well as a 30-fold increase in offshore farms.

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