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£2.5b investment and 12,000 jobs for renewable energy

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has announced that British companies will spend £2.5 billion on renewable energy projects in 2012.

Research conducted by the Department of Energy and Climate Change shows that this could create almost 12,000 jobs.

The announcement was used by Mr Huhne to confirm the Government’s commitment to meeting the EU target of 15 per cent of energy generated from renewable sources by 2020.

“Renewable energy is not just helping us increase our energy security and reduce our emissions. It is supporting jobs and growth across the country, and giving traditional industrial heartlands the opportunity to thrive again,” said Mr Huhne.

“Our renewable target is less demanding than other EU member states, but the effect is bringing real jobs and investment,” he said.

The target for the wider area of the EU is to generate 20 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

The UK has increased its consumption of renewable energy by 27 per cent between 2008 and 2010, when it represented 3.3 per cent of the total energy consumed.