Government urged to set new 2030 targets for renewable technologies

A leading trade body has urged the UK to commit to specific deployment targets for renewable energy generation ahead of COP26 later this year.

Renewable UK’s latest report – “Raising the bar: the world-leading energy commitments the UK should make ahead of COP26” – argues that the Prime Minister’s new target of slashing emissions by 78% by 2035, and reaching net zero emissions by 2050, can only be achieved by setting out clear milestones to be met by 2030.

It has also urged the newly elected Governments in Scotland and Wales to set an example to the world by outlining complimentary 2030 onshore wind targets to support an overarching 30GW ambition for the UK. As well as building new projects, the report highlights the need for policies which enable developers to make the most of the wind farms we already have by ‘repowering’ older turbines with modern state-of the-art technology.

The report’s recommendations include reaching 30 gigawatts (GW) of onshore wind by the end of the decade – enough to power over nineteen and a half million homes – and setting a minimum target of 5GW of green hydrogen electrolyser capacity by 2030. The report also calls for the Government to set a 1GW target for marine energy.

Nathan Bennett, Head of Public Affairs at RenewableUK and author of the report, said: “The UK has one of the strongest records on decarbonisation in the world. But to get to net zero emissions as fast as possible and ensure we’re maximising jobs and investment; the Government needs to set out a detailed roadmap with specific milestones for the key renewable technologies which will get us there – starting with targets for 2030. We must ensure there are no gaps in our own ambitions if we’re to set the agenda for the rest of the world.

“By enhancing our renewable energy targets, the UK doesn’t just show effective leadership on tackling climate change – we will also drive new investment and jobs in the renewable energy supply chain across the UK. We’re in a position to be a world-leader in technologies like floating wind, green hydrogen and marine energy, grasping the export potential of each industry’s inevitable global growth”.