Government seems unsure whether it wants a domestic renewable industry or not

The UK supports an EU target that will require it to generate 15 per cent of its energy (which is likely to mean 30-40 per cent of its electricity) from renewables by 2020. The UK has a low baseline of renewable generation and the target will be stretching and expensive – which is why the government has been trying to open loopholes.

According to The Guardian, the government is pushing for carbon capture and British developments in other (cheaper and less regulated) countries to count toward the target.

This is a pretty silly suggestion. The EU wants the target because a) renewables are thought to be a key part of the European response to climate change and b) the renewables industry is not considered capable of getting on its feet with an outcome based mechanism (i.e. one that is based on lower emissions rather than the type of solution) alone. The target is a type of command and control, which has been used because European governments are sure that we need significant renewable generation within Europe, even if the market won’t deliver it.

Allowing non-European or non-renewable generation to count toward it does not make sense.

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