Argument over UK emissions heats up

The Renewable Energy Association has become locked in battle with right-leaning think tank Policy Exchange over a report they published which suggests Britain should renegotiate its commitments to the EU’s […]

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By Tom Gibson

The Renewable Energy Association has become locked in battle with right-leaning think tank Policy Exchange over a report they published which suggests Britain should renegotiate its commitments to the EU’s 2020 targets.

Policy Exchange claims that the study shows there is an unnecessary cost involved in implementing renewable technologies.

A spokesperson for Policy Exchange said: “The evidence in the report sets our 16 projections that enable the UK to meet its 2050 carbon emissions reductions target (an 80% cut). None of the models demonstrate the need for an additional renewable target as set out in the EU’s 2020 directive which independent analysis has concluded will cost the UK £66 billion.”

The Renewable Energy Association claims the report is misguided. In a statement they said: “Renewables are needed for energy security, to boost and rebalance the UK economy, as well as definitely cut carbon. The Policy Exchange’s call to abolish the renewable energy target is frankly dangerous and will drag us to into the dark ages.”

ELN spoke to Policy Exchange who told us they disagreed: “We do not call for the abolition of renewables and indeed set out where renewables could play a valuable role in meeting our carbon target. However, our research demonstrates that the short term 2020 renewable target means that a large proportion of public money is spent on off shore wind, which is inefficient and hugely expensive.”

The REA added further fuel to the fire by questioning the validity of the report’s financial backing.

Policy Exchange defended the report: “The acknowledgements section of the report clearly names the Hadley Trust as funders for this report. It is a leading charity which carries out a lot of work in prison reform and foster care placements among other topics.”