By the year 2000 renewable energy in the UK will save 0.4 million tonnes of carbon annually, predicts the British government in its progress report on carbon dioxide emissions. The government expects its programme of support for renewables to lead to 1500 MW of new renewable generating capacity by the turn of the century. This is one of the planks of its policy to return greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2000. However, latest figures reveal the UK is on course to achieve even greater reductions. Revised estimates indicate that CO2 emissions in 2000 will now be some 4-8% below 1990 levels. This is in large part due to greater savings in the electricity generating sector -- particularly from higher than expected use of natural gas and increased nuclear output. On the other hand, the contribution from other measures for reducing CO2 emissions -- such as renewables -- may not deliver as much as the government originally envisaged because of the lower carbon intensity of the electricity being displaced.
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