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Letter: Wind of change

Sir: To be fair to the Government, it has usually been cautious about the precise interpretation of its "pledge" that 10 per cent of our electricity should come from renewable energy. It has, however, given the renewable energy industry the impression that it has a future in the UK. What does that future amount to?

Market-led demand is helping some renewable energy businesses to grow and contracts under the statutory Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation (NFFO) support many others. But, however welcome the growth from customers' free choice may be, its full potential is hard to predict. On the other hand, the NFFO provides the certainty of long-term contracts and has driven down renewable energy prices, but, it may need replacing and so it features in the DTI's renewable energy review. That review, which has been the subject of detailed consultation, now looks likely to lead to another consultation.

There are many ways in which renewable energy could be supported. It is hard to choose between them unless politicians are explicit about what they want renewable energy to achieve. The Government's expectations of energy generally are varied and some seem to conflict with each other. The UK's young renewable energy industry is caught up in the conflict and if it is to be spared serious damage, it needs the Government's role in its future to be clarified without undue delay.


Chief Executive

Association of Electricity Producers

London SW1