Letter: Battle for green power

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THE Government is committed to launching a new and strong drive to develop renewable energy sources in the UK. There are few greater enthusiasts for renewable energy than I. That is why, on taking office, I initiated a major review of UK policy. That review will determine what is necessary and practicable to achieve 10 per cent of UK electricity supplies from renewable sources by 2010; a four to five-fold increase on current levels.

The Government wants to see that new and strong drive extended to the whole of Europe. That is why we have welcomed the Commission's White Paper, not opposed it as you claim ("Britain fights shy of EU plans for 'green' power", 23 March). We support the call for action to promote renewables within the community and we support the adoption of a strategic approach across Europe.

We look forward to a constructive debate with our European partners on how to achieve a substantial increase in renewable energy use.

Clearly, the Commission's plans need to be further developed and I believe that it is a vital step for each member state to develop its own practical, workable plans for achieving the significant increase in renewable energy use which is needed. This is just what we are already doing in the UK.

Under the UK Presidency, I am working towards a Council Resolution which sets just such a course for the whole of Europe. I am not fighting shy of green power, I am fighting for it, often in the teeth of local opposition.

JOHN BATTLE

Minister for Science, Energy and Industry

Department of Trade and Industry

London SW1

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