UK fails to show leadership in EU renewables policy

Wednesday 14 February 2007

The UK Government was today accused of failing to live up to its rhetoric on renewable energy in negotiating the EU ‘energy package’. The two leading trade associations for the sector, the British Wind Energy Association and the Scottish Renewables, are calling on British politicians not to water down the proposals that the European Commission published last month. Most importantly, the UK should be at the forefront of the demand to set firm, challenging targets for these new clean energy sources.

“The only real target is a mandatory target,” said BWEA Chief Executive Maria McCaffery. “The UK Government is opposing the Commission’s proposal to set a mandatory 20% target for all Europe’s energy to come from renewables, and this sends the wrong signal to industry. We need firm backing if investors are to have confidence in our sector. The UK is not alone in wanting the target made indicative only, but we had expected more of our Government.”

“Scotland enjoys the jobs and environmental benefits that mandatory targets on electricity and transport provide with the growth in onshore wind, the refurbishment of old hydro and the development of new projects and in providing signals to emerging technologies like wave, tidal and bioenergy ”, said Scottish Renewables acting Chief Executive Jason Ormiston.

“The same now needs to be done to encourage action in heating with targets for renewables and microgeneration in Scotland. The EU targets could do much to promote this ambition and it is unfortunate the UK government does not share that ambition.” 


The European Parliament voted nearly unanimously in December on a package which included mandatory sectoral targets for renewables adding up to a 25% overall target in 2020.

BWEA is the UK’s leading renewable energy association, representing the interests of all major stakeholders in the delivery of clean and sustainable electricity from wind, wave and tidal sources. Fro further information see

Scottish Renewables is Scotland’s leading renewables organisation. It represents companies working in wind, wave, tidal, solar, hydro and biomass, and aims to create a renewables future for Scotland for the benefit of Scotland’s environment and economy. For more information on Scottish Renewables go to