U.K. Pledges Heat, Transport Work to Meet EU Renewables Target

The U.K. government plans to do more to increase the proportion of renewable energy used to heat the nation’s buildings and fuel its cars, trucks and trains as it strives to meet binding European Union targets by 2020.

Britain in 2014 derived 7 percent of all energy for power generation, heat and transport from renewables, up from 5.6 percent in 2013, the government said in a report Thursday that confirmed headline numbers published in June, while revising sectoral data.

The U.K. must get 15 percent of all energy from renewables by 2020 in order to meet its EU target. While Thursday’s data show it met an interim objective, and the power sector is on track to meet its share of the overall goal, the government acknowledged it’ll need to do more to encourage the uptake of clean sources of energy for heat and transport.

“In order to maintain progress on renewable heat for the rest of the decade, we recognize that we need to do more beyond 2016,” the government said. In transportation, “we will shortly be consulting on plans to increase the use of biofuels in a strategic and sustainable way and in line with our 2020 targets.”

The share of electricity generated by renewables surged to 17.8 percent in 2014 from 13.8 percent a year earlier, according to the data, with Britain targeting 30 percent by 2020. About 3.2 percent of transportation fuels were renewable, up from 2.8 percent in 2013, and short of the 10 percent binding EU target for 2020. In heat, where Britain aims to get 12 percent from renewable sources by 2020, the proportion rose to 4.5 percent in 2014 from 3.8 percent a year earlier.

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