Lord Turner: 'We must act now to meet energy targets'

Lord Turner, the chairman of the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC), is calling for a "step change" in government policy if Britain is to meet its 2020 renewable energy targets.

In a letter to Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, Lord Turner outlines several issues to be addressed "as a matter of urgency" to ensure Britain is producing 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources within 10 years as planned.

The CCC remains supportive of both the headline target, and the estimation that within it some 30 per cent of UK electricity will need to come from renewables, requiring a massive expansion of offshore wind generating capacity in particular.

But to secure the necessary infrastructure investment – which is estimated at up to £150bn – the Government must move quickly to finalise the regulatory arrangements for transmission of electricity from offshore wind farms to the onshore grid. They must agree to investment in the much-needed upgrade of the onshore transmission network, and cut the delays in the planning regime, Lord Turner says. "Meeting the 2020 renewable energy target requires a step change in the rate of progress and entails significant delivery risks, which should be addressed as a matter of urgency," he said.

The CCC is calling on the Government to stress the priority of low-carbon generating capacity in the National Policy Statement for energy – due to go out to consultation this autumn – which is designed to streamline the planning procedure.

Other key concerns include measures to address the uncertainty over changes to the existing Renewables Obligation support mechanism and the review of the electricity market. The CCC also raises for consideration the possibility of support for offshore wind farms through the £2bn Green Investment Bank plan included in the Government's Coalition Agreement.

So far, progress towards Britain's green targets has been too slow. Only about 1 gigawatt of new wind power generation was turned on last year – a level that needs to rise to 3GW per year by 2020. And so far only 3 per cent of UK energy is from renewable sources such as wind farms or solar panels.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific