Energy secretary points the finger at Department for Transport over renewables target

"We don’t have the right policies to meet 2020 targets," Amber Rudd tells MPs

By Emilio Casalicchio

11 Nov 2015

Energy secretary Amber Rudd has called on other departments to do more to help the government meet its targets for renewable energy.

It emerged this week that government does not expect to meet a target set by the European Union for the UK to provide 15% of its energy from renewables by 2020.

In an internal letter leaked to the Ecologist magazine, Rudd said only 11.5% of energy will come from renewables by the target date.

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Questioned by the Energy and Climate Change Committee on Tuesday, the energy secretary singled out the Department for Transport as a primary culprit for the UK’s failure to meet the target.

“I am concerned about the work done in transport and in heat to make the additional targets,” she said. “That’s why I have been writing to other ministers in other departments, particularly transport, to urge them to work across government to ensure we make this target."

She added: “We don’t have the right policies, particularly in transport and heat in order to make those 2020 targets.”

Rudd called on colleagues to take “certain action” to improve renewable use and improve chances of meeting the target.

But she argued that recent cuts to solar and wind subsidies had not affected progress towards the target, as the individual goal for electricity provided by renewables was on track.

In her letter to Cabinet colleagues, Rudd said: "The trajectory … currently leads to a shortfall against the target in 2020 of around 50 TWh (with a range of 32-67TWh) or 3.5% points (with a range of 2.1-4.5% points) in our internal central forecasts (which are not public).

"Publicly we are clear that the UK continues to make progress to meet the target.” The letter, dated 23 October, also notes the UK could be liable for fines for not meeting the target and a judicial review if it fails to come up with a plan."

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