Science & Environment

Rudd: Government 'committed' to renewable energy targets

Solar panels Image copyright Reuters

The Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has said the government remains committed to meeting EU renewable energy targets.

She told MPs that ministers aim to meet the UK's target of 15% of energy from clean power by 2020, by focussing on heat and transport.

Ms Rudd has come under fire over a leaked letter in which she warned cabinet colleagues of a potential shortfall.

Green campaigners have accused the government of misleading the public.

Questioned by members of the Energy and Climate Change Committee on Tuesday, Ms Rudd said: "It is my aim that we should meet the 2020 target."

She added: "I recognise, as that letter does, that we don't have the right policies, particularly in transport and heat in order to make those 2020 targets, but we have four to five years and I remain committed to making those targets."

According to a letter to cabinet colleagues by Ms Rudd obtained by The Ecologist magazine, the UK is facing a shortfall in its European Union target to source 15% of energy, including for transport, power and heating, from renewables by 2020.

The letter warns that missing the target could trigger a judicial review or fines from the EU.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Ms Rudd appeared before the Energy and Climate Change Committee

On Tuesday, Ms Rudd told members of the Energy and Climate Change Committee that the government would stick to its EU commitments.

She said her department would focus on areas such as renewable generation of heat, while the Department of Transport should take action on transport measures.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has said the UK has already exceeded its interim target of 5.4% of all energy coming from renewables in 2013/2014.

But Greenpeace has accused the government of misleading the public.

Head of energy Daisy Sands said: "For the first time, we learn that the government is expecting to miss the EU's legally binding renewables target. This is hugely shocking. But more deplorably, it is wilfully hiding this from public scrutiny."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites