The Global View

UK goes for 15 percent renewables by 2020

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The government has gone literally green crazy with its latest renewables plan – 15 percent renewables by 2020.

Here’s the highlight of what the government wants to ahead with:

* Extending and raising the level of the Renewables Obligation to encourage 30-35% of our electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020;

* Introducing a new financial incentive mechanism to encourage a very large increase in renewable heat, including in homes and other buildings;

* Extending more effective financial support for heat and electricity microgeneration technologies in homes and other buildings, potentially through a feed-in tariff;

* Helping the planning system to deliver, by agreeing a clear deployment strategy at regional level similar to the approach established for housing;

* Ensuring appropriate incentives for new electricity grid infrastructure and removing access to the transmission grid as a barrier to renewable deployment;

* Exploiting the full potential of energy from waste by considering further restrictions on landfilling biomass, as far as is practical;

* Requiring all biofuels to meet strict sustainability criteria to limit adverse impacts on food prices, and other social and environmental concerns;

* Encouraging the development of new renewable technologies by ensuring effective support particularly where the UK has the potential to be a market leader;

* Maximising the benefits for UK business by providing a clear long-term policy framework, working with Regional Development Agencies to tackle blockages, considering support for specific technologies and addressing skills shortages.

According to the government, this big-ass plan will create 160,000 jobs. Which is a bit of a shame – being on the dole can be a lot of fun. Very, very cheap fun. For less than a day.