Britain Debates Energy Policy

by William Yeatman on February 19, 2002

in Blog

A new British government-commissioned report by the Performance and Innovation Unit says that the country should increase the amount of energy supplied by renewable sources by 2020. It also suggested that the government keep its nuclear power options open (Reuters, February 17, 2002).

British industries are not convinced, however. According to them, increased use of renewable energy sources would be harmful to Englands economic prospects. “If the cost base to industry increases as a result of a shift towards green power that will damage Britains global competitiveness,” said Ruth Lea, head of the policy unit at the Institute of Directors (Reuters, February 18, 2002).

The beneficiaries of a renewable energy mandate are already saying that its not enough. Nick Goodall of the British Wind Energy Association said, “This (20 percent by 2020) target is far too modest,” claiming that, “companies are already gearing up to generate this much from wind power alone.” If thats the case, then why the need for government mandates?

According to a U.S.-owned utility, TXU Europe, Great Britains current renewable energy mandate of providing 10 percent of the nations energy through renewable sources, would cost about 20 million pounds or $28.5 million in the first year alone (Reuters, February 18, 2002).

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