From Green Right Now Reports
Wind is now powering more than two million homes in the United Kingdom, after a surge of growth last year.
Energy statistics released today by the Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) show that wind power generation increased by 31 percent in 2009 and now represents 2.5 percent of all UK electricity production.
The industry trade group RenewableUK welcomed the news, calling the statistics “promising” but urging even faster growth in renewables to meet future energy demands with clean power.
“With one third of our power supply needing to be replaced by 2015 we cannot delay in greater deployment of clean energy technologies. If we are to avoid an energy gap and secure our supplies for the future, we must maintain momentum to deliver a robust renewable energy industry that will lead to the creation of thousands of green jobs,” said Maria McCaffery, chief executive of RenewableUK.
To meet its renewable energy targets for 2020, Great Britain must move ahead aggressively on off-shore wind, McCaffery said. “The UK is capable of delivering 49GW of electricity from this sector over the next decade; more than half our current energy needs. However, achieving this goal will require strong political will and a policy framework that ensures Britain does not lose out to the rest of the world in this burgeoning industry.”
The UK has ambitious plans to power the majority of the country with offshore wind installations and become an exporter of wind energy by 2050.
In the short term, the European Union has set a combined Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) of obtaining 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. A report released earlier this year by the European Wind Energy Association indicates that Europe is on track to meet that target, if not exceed it. (See a table of the countries’ goals compiled by the EWEA.)
European countries have their own RES plans, with the United Kingdom’s RES is 15 percent by 2020.
The U.S. does not have a RES. Clean energy trade groups and climate advocates are calling on the U.S. Senate to include a RES in its latest proposal for an energy bill, released this week by Senate leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada).