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Transport to blame for poor energy progress

Renewable Energy

The UK could fail to meet its 2020 renewable energy targets due in part to its underperformance in the transport sector, according to an EU report.

The Renewable Energy Progress Report shows the UK currently performing above expectation with an 8.2% renewable energy share (RES) in 2015 – comfortably above its 2015-16 goal of 7.2%.

However, the report also estimates the UK will just fail to reach its 2020 target of a 15% RES, reaching 14.8%. The UK is expected to provide 30% of electricity,12% of heat and 10% of transport from renewables by 2020.

An Energy and Climate Change Select Committee report published last year suggested that the UK could miss its 2020 target due to underperformance in heat and transport – the proportion of renewable energy in transport actually fell from 2014 to 2015.

The changes in energy policy – including changes to renewable subsidies – has slowed the UK’s progress, argues the Renewable Energy Association (REA).

“This is a wake-up call to our government, which for the past two years has introduced policy changes that have slowed deployment of renewables in the heat, transport, and power sectors,” said REA chief executive Nina Skorupska.

“While it appears that UK is on track to meet our power targets, we are seriously falling behind in the heat and transport sectors. The government should take immediate steps to remove the roadblocks to further renewable energy deployment.”

Transport is the only sector currently underperforming across the EU, which is aiming for a 10% RES in transport by 2020.

However the EU as a whole is on track to achieve its target of 20% renewable energy by 2020. The heating & cooling and the electricity sectors are performing well, with the electricity sector outperforming its aggregated National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) with a 28% RES in 2015.

Ireland, Luxemburg and The Netherlands are also expected to miss their 2020 targets according to the report.

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