The UK Renewable Energy Strategy 2009 is a white paper outlining how the UK will meet its legally-binding target to ensure 15% of energy comes from renewable energy sources by 2020.
Under the 2008 Climate Change Act, the UK must meet legally binding carbon "budgets", committing the UK to cuts its emissions by 34% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.
The Strategy comprises three primary 2020 targets:
- Over 30% of electricity to be generated from renewable energy sources, mostly from wind power, with biomass, hydro, wave and tidal power playing important roles;
- 12% of heat to be generated from renewable energy sources, from a large range of sources (biomass, biogas, solar, heat pumps);
- 10% of transport energy to come from renewable energy sources.
The key measures to achieve the targets are:
- An expansion and extension of the Renewables Obligation, requiring energy suppliers to sell larger amounts of renewable energy. New measures to increase financial support for offshore wind will also be considered.
- Introducing payment schemes to support the production of renewable heat and small-scale clean electricity generation by households, industry, businesses and communities.
- New guaranteed payments will be provided through feed-in tariff schemes from 2010 onwards, and a Renewable Heat Incentive from 2011 onwards. Before the schemes take effect, GBP 45 million in grants have been committed.
- The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation will be amended or replaced, taking into account sustainability issues, to ensure transport fuels contain a rising amount of renewable biofuels.
The Strategy also creates an Office for Renewable Energy Deployment (ORED) within the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) to take forward the commitments outlined in the Strategy.
In addition, the Strategy sets out areas for action in four areas.
- The first aims to improve planning processes to be swifter and more strategic.
- The second for measures to strengthen the UKs renewable energy industry, including through greater investment and work with the financial sector.
- The third targets improvements and investments in the electricity grid, including improved grid access, more strategic investments (including in an offshore grid and a smarter grid).
- Finally, the government outlines commitments for sustainable bioenergy development and use. This will act on the supply-side (woods management, energy crops, use of waste), focus on better sustainability criteria, and measures to facilitate use of biofuels and innovative bioenergy (for example, better fuel quality standards, injection of biogas into the grid, capacity of road and transport for greater biofuel use).
The Strategy also commits to using part of GBP 405 million of funding for key emerging technologies for renewable energy technologies, such as wave and tidal generation, offshore wind, and advanced biofuels. The government estimates that the Strategy will provide cumulative savings of 755 MtCO2 between now and 2030, 535 MtCO2 of which will help the UK meet EU Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS) caps, and 220 MtCO2 will provide additional CO2 reductions. Within the additional savings, 73 MtCO2 will be saved over the third carbon budget period (2018 - 2022) and deliver about a sixth of the abatement needed to meet this third budget.
- Transport end-uses
- Private passenger transport
- Electricity end-uses