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UK minister disputes Hedegaard's 100% renewables aim

UK: The UK energy minister Charles Hendry has questioned comments from EU climate change commissioner Connie Hedegaard that 100% of the EU's electricity needs could come from renewables.

UK energy minister Charles Hendry
UK energy minister Charles Hendry

Speaking at EWEA earlier this month, Hedegaard said: "When we talk about the electricity sector, not the total energy consumption, but electricity, then I think by 2050 we'll have 100% renewables in Europe. I think that is perfectly doable."

As the European country with the greatest wind resource, the UK would be expected play a large role in achieving Hedegaard’s aim. However speaking to Windpower Monthly, Hendry said "a mix of low carbon" technologies would be required, including nuclear.

He added: "We have to be clear about how we’re going to meet targets. I think it’s very easy for politicians to set a target and not explain how they’re going to get there.

"We’re focusing on 2020 and 2030 and we’re also doing roadmaps to 2050. We think that it’s appropriate to have a mix of low carbon technologies that’s why we’re trying to lead the world in the development of carbon capture and storage."

Hedegaard’s 100% target goes even further than a report last year by Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council, which said 97% was attainable by 2050.

For more see - Europe 2020 Wind Energy Targets

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