Renewable Energy Foundation

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Renewable Energy Strategy is Inconsistent and Implausible

The Government has today released its Renewable Energy Strategy, following consultation last year. REF today expressed grave concern about the credibility of this government's strategy and the analysis behind it.

The strategy is intended to map out the UK's policies to meet EU targets requiring us to obtain 15% of Final Energy Consumption from renewable sources by 2020.

In its response to the Consultation last year REF pointed out that it was unlikely that UK final energy consumption (150 million tonnes of oil equivalent) would remain at current levels up to 2020, as was assumed by the Government’s consultation text.

Today's strategy document is grounded in the still more extraordinary view that consumption will actually fall, in spite of growing population and, with luck, a return to economic growth.

Despite improvements in energy efficiency across the OECD, energy consumption continues to increase. As the great energy economist W. S. Jevons said, to equate energy efficiency with reductions in consumption is a "complete confusion of ideas".

Dr John Constable, Director of Policy and Research for REF said:


"By assuming that UK energy consumption will actually fall by 2020, in spite of rising population and economic growth, the Government has lost any claim to credibility."

"It seems that in a desperate attempt to make this infeasible target appear realistic, the Government has resorted to the expedient of making up the numbers.”

"We are deeply concerned that such flawed calculations will lead to counterproductive policy and uncontrolled cost at a time of economic vulnerability and rising levels of fuel poverty."
Download this file (pr.15.07.09.pdf)pr.15.07.09.pdf
Last Updated on Monday, 13 February 2012