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UK Will Miss Renewable Targets – Amber Rudd

November 9, 2015

By Paul Homewood   


h/t Wolsten




Britain will miss a major legally-binding renewable energy target, Amber Rudd, the Energy Secretary, has privately admitted in a letter to other cabinet ministers leaked to the press.

In a candid private message to senior Tories, Ms Rudd downplayed the chances of the UK sourcing 15 per cent of energy, including for transport, power and heating, from renewables by 2020.

She warned that the “absence of a credible plan” to meet the target could trigger repeated fines from the EU Court of Justice and a judicial review.

Ms Rudd also said that while internal forecasts predicted Britain will fall short of the goal, “publically" the government would say the country "continues to make progress” to hit it.

The leaked letter, which was published by The Ecologist magazine, triggered criticism from green campaigners who said it revealed the government’s failures to protect renewables.

Ms Rudd’s frank letter was sent on October 29 to Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, Oliver Letwin, the Cabinet Office, Greg Hands, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and Patrick McLoughlin the Transport Secretary.

“I am writing to inform you of current UK progress towards the EU 2020 renewables target and the work underway to agree the Government’s strategy for meeting the target,” Ms Rudd wrote.

She added: “The absence of a credible plan to meet the target carries the risk of successful judicial review, and failing to meet the overall target in 2020 could lead to on-going fines imposed by the EU Court of Justice (which could take into account avoided costs) until the UK reaches the target level.”


Amber Rudd, of course, is between a rock and a hard place. She knows full well the target cannot be achieved without a big increase in subsidies, which are currently limited by the Levy Control Framework. She also knows that hopes that renewable energy would make a big contribution to transport and domestic heating were just pie in the sky.

I suspect she is putting the options on the table for the rest of the Cabinet to decide.



The target for renewables to achieve 15% of total energy consumption by 2020 was widely rumoured to have been down to a gross misunderstanding by Tony Blair, who thought it only applied to electricity. Last year we managed to produce just 8%.

However, we certainly aren’t alone. For instance, France, despite much more hydro, could only manage 9%, whilst Poland languished at less than 5%.


The greenies are aghast that we might end up breaking the law. But there is a simple alternative – change the law and tell the EU where they can stick their fines!

  1. Joe Public permalink
    November 9, 2015 11:25 pm

    “But there is a simple alternative – change the law and tell the EU where they can stick their fines!”


    However – I’m surprised we’re lagging behind the self-imposed millstone. As recently as 3rd Jan this year, the Greenies were lauding the performance of our renewables:

    “2014 a “massive year” for wind and solar power in Scotland – new data published”

  2. Regor permalink
    November 9, 2015 11:32 pm

    With a bit of luck by 2020 we might not be in the EU

  3. Green Sand permalink
    November 9, 2015 11:45 pm

    O dear, a mythical, unobtainable, unnecessary goal will be missed in 2020! O dear!

    So with that gone how about we work on how to feed, care and educate those in need today?

    FFS will our politicians ever stop posing on the world stage long enough to realise they have inherent responsibilities?

    • CheshireRed permalink
      November 10, 2015 11:11 am

      Absolutely right. They’re so keen to strut the global stage they’ve forgotten who they were elected to serve. Time to get back to basics and concentrate their efforts on behalf of their constituents, not Brussels.

  4. November 10, 2015 2:30 am

    Alternative #2 : Leave the EU. #Brexit
    – The EU can’t fine the UK if the UK isn’t in it.

  5. November 10, 2015 2:41 am

    BTW Paul, that NOAA page that Steve Goddard was saying was disappeared has now re-appeared same as ever.
    See my comment at end of is-the-government-tinkering-with-global-warming-data-judith-curry/

  6. November 10, 2015 2:57 am

    The leather hits the road when binding fines come in. Which they won’t – even the ecogreen will complain about the waste of money. Better, they’d say, it goes straight to renewable programmes. Which will be reviewed, recalculated and …. there you go, no change.

    If you want to drive a country of the the EU, nothing’ll work better than assigning it’s citizens significant fines that go further to the EU bureaucracy.

    Right now the additional costs of CAGW are protested to be just for the “polluting” industries. Anti-you’re-better-off-than-me sentiment (not anticapitalism per se) lies behind most of CAGW rhetoric. Even the New York birkenstockers dislike the bankers and top-end industrial class for what is denied them (or their friends), not for wealth, privilege or influence. Those three things the intellectual green has in relative abundance and (like Gore, Steyer, Suzuki, Hansen, the French ruling cabal) have no intention of giving up. Even giving up a little bit with serious charitable donations.

    The INDCs are hollow. And unenforceable. And will take years to be determined unmet. That’s a window for the weather to change (not the climate!). Is this the year things turn around?

    I haven’t heard about changes in cloud cover recently. Without doubt the heat in California and Australia was accompanied by less clouds, just like the cool and wet in the American NE, Britain and western Europe was accompanied by more clouds (ipso facto wrt rain, right?). Regional patterrns of either heat or cold, unfortunately, are not evidential to Americans unless they occur to Americans, and it is America who controls the CAGW pace.

    So far the “super El Nino” (or is it ‘monster El Nino”?) is still the once and future king of global warming. There is cool and rain in California these days, and cold and rain in New York. With luck the Al Gore Effect will show up in Paris inside the month.

    The intellectual eco-green cannot tolerate being embarrassed. Brune with the Sierra Club demonstrated that problem before the Congressional committee. Every setback has been met by them by doubling down. Holding the line. At what point does reality force its way in? Maybe never – it just shows up in the following generation.

    I’ve read a bit about the witchhunting of the 16th to late 17th century. The madness was not repudiated at the top. The craze just fizzled away, and the most egregious pushed from polite society.

    Al Gore in a retirement home in Costa Rica? Like that.

  7. November 10, 2015 4:57 am

    “She warned that the “absence of a credible plan” to meet the target could trigger repeated fines from the EU Court of Justice and a judicial review.”

    Yet one more reason, if we need it, to get the hell out of the EU.

  8. John F. Hultquist permalink
    November 10, 2015 5:32 am

    ” … a credible plan …

    There is not a credible alternative to carbon based energy. Therefore, there cannot be a plan to get to the mythical “save the planet” level of renewable energy targets.
    The two possibilities are for the UK to leave the EU, or for the targets to be drastically reduced. There is a 3rd, I guess – pay the fines, as a cost of continued existence. [Seems young healthy folks in the USA are doing such with ObamaCare.]

    • A C Osborn permalink
      November 10, 2015 12:40 pm

      The only credible plan is Nuclear, but not at the prices this dozy bunch of Politicians and Civil Servants have proposed and agreed to.

  9. November 10, 2015 7:09 am

    If we were France we would just ignore the fines and not pay them. As we are net contributers to the EU, what can they do? Normally if an offender doesn’t pay a fine, he will be put in prison.

    Of course Brexit is the best way to get out of the insane renewable energy target which Tony (I do not know what I am doing) Blair signed us up to. As he has cost us billions, he is the one who should be fined and then jailed..

  10. November 10, 2015 7:11 am

    I thought that the plan that we had (credible or not) was the plan of Ed Miliband, Chris Huhne and Ed Davey. Fine them as well for not having a credible plan.

    • CheshireRed permalink
      November 10, 2015 11:22 am

      Indeed. Don’t forget the insane G. Brown esq. His and Miliband’s legacies are getting more toxic by the day.

    • November 10, 2015 2:04 pm

      Ah yes, prisoner Huhne and dimwit Davey. Haven’t heard so much from them recently. They must have got nice lucrative board positions on some renewable company or other by now.

  11. November 10, 2015 7:23 am

    For what it is worth, the pill at the end was close when I voted yesterday.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      November 10, 2015 12:44 pm

      I assume that you mean Poll, and it was for the Myanmar government?
      I hope Aung San Suu Kyi is correct and they have won.

  12. Graeme No.3 permalink
    November 10, 2015 11:07 am

    But Phillip Bratby, they had an inCREDIBLE plan. It is just the small print that let them down.

  13. November 10, 2015 11:24 am

    Also covered with a biased report in the BBC.

    It is noteworthy that Hazzabin never consults an expert – straight to his Greenpeace chums.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      November 10, 2015 11:45 am

      Very surprised tonight in Adelaide. A program that I don’t normally watch started with 10 minutes on how useless and expensive renewables were. Pointed out that Sth. Australia was headed for disaster, rising electricity bills and more blackouts. Only hope was to get more power from the Victorian brown coal stations – it won’t happen, more inter-connectors would have to be built and we have a “martian” state cabinet (no sign of intelligent life).

      Very strange, nothing like this has happened in australian MSM before. There has been a bit of sniping in The Australian – Murdoch’s national newspaper – but the rest of the MSM has been fully compliant with the green message until now. Will be interested to see the reaction tomorrow.

      • A C Osborn permalink
        November 10, 2015 12:46 pm

        Perhaps it was paid for by a very worried Industry and I don’t just mean Coal.

  14. Michael Preston permalink
    November 10, 2015 12:20 pm

    The only public commentator in the Australian media who seems to have a mind of his own on matters climate related is Andrew Bolt. Andrew conducts his Bolt Report on CH10 on Sunday mornings and runs a column in the HeraldSun. Andrew started the Bolt Report last Sunday with a blistering demolition of the ‘green ideologies’ and followed on with a realistic explanation of the flaws in the Climate debate, the realities of costs associated with a number of concepts and in the past has commented on adjustments to Aus BOM records at Rutherglen and Amberley which modified the outcome from flat to the preferred result.

  15. Green Sand permalink
    November 10, 2015 1:02 pm

    “UK Will Miss Renewable Targets – Amber Rudd”

    Nay worry just do what the UN has done – change the target

    “UN report raises ceiling for greenhouse gas pollution, calls previous assessments unrealistic”

    “STOCKHOLM — The U.N.’s environmental authority has quietly raised its assessment of the level at which global greenhouse gas emissions must peak to avoid dangerous climate change, as governments seek a new accord to fight global warming.

    In its first four annual emissions reports in 2010-2013, the United Nations Environment Program said emissions must not exceed 44 billion tons in 2020 for the world to limit global warming to 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F).

    But with real-world emissions rising far beyond that level, UNEP has since last year downplayed its focus on 2020 as a make-or-break year for emissions reductions.

    In this year’s Emissions Gap report, a summary of which was released Friday, UNEP says the world can still reach the 2-degree target with emissions of 52 billion tons by 2020, which is just slightly below today’s level………

  16. November 10, 2015 1:51 pm

    In an article entitled: “New York Attorney General Tries to Criminalize Scientific Dissent on Climate Change”, the Daily Signal reports on the tactics of NY against Exxon Mobil.

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