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2020 Renewable Targets

July 22, 2013


By Paul Homewood


Under an EU directive, the UK is mandated to supply 15% of its total energy demand from renewable sources by 2020. As “total energy” includes other forms of energy, such as natural gas (that cannot be sourced from renewable), it is generally assumed that this will mean that between 30% and 40% of electricity generation will need to be sourced from renewables.

So what progress are we making?


Twh 2009 2012
Wind/Solar 9 21
Hydro 4 4
Biomass 10 13
TOTAL 23 38
% Of All Generation 6 10


So in four years, we have increased the contribution of renewables from 6% to 10%. However, to reach a target of 30% an extra 71TWh will need to be generated, or about an extra 9 TWh added each year. This is more than twice the rate achieved in the last four years.

A target of 35% becomes even more difficult, meaning an increase of 11TWh each year.

It would seem that nearly all of this extra capacity will have to come from wind, which would rise from its current 21 TWh to about 110 TWh, a five-fold increase.

An awful lot of windmills, and an awful lot of subsidy!

But we must do what our lords and masters in Brussels tell us.

  1. Ulrich Elkmann permalink
    July 22, 2013 1:26 pm

    It seems that Britain has embarked on its own “Energiewende” (energy u-turn) & that it will fail just as miserably ans spectacularly (and as predictably) as in Germany.

    “But we must do what our lords and masters in Brussels tell us.”
    Wrong. You are absolutely free to tell the EUrocrats in Brussels and Strasbourg where to stuff their dictates. But you have to vote politicians into office who wil tell them that, in no uncertain terms.

  2. John F. Hultquist permalink
    July 24, 2013 1:47 am

    As an analogy Detroit seems a good example. There the problems became obvious many years ago. People and industry began to adapt by leaving – or going bankrupt. A 2 million peopled city became a 700,000 people city. The City’s elite carried on until outside intervention said ‘enough’. The litigation will go on for many years.

    The UK and other EU parts do not have something larger and authoratative to step in and say ‘enough’. The Brussels folks made the regulations and they can un-make them. Only the timing is in question. Will it be before the member countries resemble Detroit, or after?

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