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United Kingdom

British government must aim high with renewables targets says Greenpeace

The UK wind industry should be "aiming high" in urging the government to adopt a target of 20-30% of electricity from renewables by 2020, says Matthew Spencer of Greenpeace. If the target is high the government will have no choice but to build it into their spending plans and to tackle the blockages that face the industry, such as the new electricity trading arrangements (NETA), grid issues and Ministry of Defence objections to wind farms, he says. Anyone from the industry who says the current UK target of 10% by 2010 is "ambitious" is sending out the wrong message, he claims. "It reinforces the idea that renewables are small and awkward. It reinforces your competitors' claim that renewables is fine in theory but a poor bet in practice. That it's all mouth and no trousers," he says. "The industry has to act its importance, not its current size." Meantime, the wind community should be doing some solid work around the 2020 target, he urges. "That might be policy work or it might be a co-ordinated communications push, depending on where the BWEA thinks it can make the biggest impact," he says, referring to the role of the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA).

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