S&T Committee (Lords): How will the UK meet its greener energy targets?

11 November 2003

Anthropogenic production of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, is now almost universally accepted as a major contributor to global climate change. The consequences of climate change threatens the health and livelihoods of thousands of people across the world. We consider the Government target to provide 10% of electricity from renewable sources by 2010 an admirable but ambitious target.

In this submission to the House of Lords Science and Technology Sub-Committee II inquiry into the practicalities of developing renewable energy we have concluded that for greener generating technologies to become cost effective, the introduction of the correct economic instruments is the single most important factor. We assessed the level of a carbon tax necessary to make a number of technologies viable against natural gas - currently the cheapest fossil fuel. The level of tax needed to make a technology viable can be used as an indication of current costs and potential for the future.

The submission also raises a number of implementation issues that need to be resolved to ensure the renewable industry can realise its full potential, including the high number of wind farm developments opposed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).


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