The share of total energy derived from renewables in the UK rose to 7% in 2014, confounding a European warning that Britain may not be on track to meet its 2020 goals on clean energy, Bloomberg Business has reported.
The average contribution of renewables to heating, transportation and power for 2013 and 2014 of 6.3% exceeded an interim EU target of 5.4%, the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) said last week in a report on its website.
The report paints a rosier picture than a recent European Commission study that listed Britain among EU members that “need to assess whether their policies and tools are sufficient and effective in meeting their renewable energy objectives”.
The UK’s binding target for 2020 is to get 15% of energy from renewables.
“We don’t accept that we have missed our renewable energy target,” energy secretary Andrea Leadsom told lawmakers in Parliament in London. “We believe we are on track to meet that.”
Wind, solar, biomass and other renewable power plants generated 19.1% of the country’s electricity in 2014, according to the DECC report.
Renewable generation capacity increased by 4.8GW, more than half of it solar power, to 24.6GW.
Renewable sources provided 4.9% of the nation’s heating and 3.9% of transportation fuels.
The proportion of energy derived from renewables in 2013 was revised upward by 0.4 percentage points to 5.6%, according to the report.
The Conservative Party was criticised this month by opposition lawmakers, environmentalists and renewables developers for ending the onshore wind project subsidy programme early.
Developers say they are the cheapest form of large-scale renewables. Ms Leadsom told lawmakers the early cut-off was needed to free up subsidies for other technologies.
She added that the government estimates 7.1GW of planned onshore wind capacity will not now be eligible for its renewables obligation program, equating to 250 projects and 2,500 turbines.