The UK's anticipated 2020 generation gap -- due to the closure of conventional nuclear, coal and oil power stations coupled with growth in electricity demand -- could be more than plugged by power from renewables, according to Peter Crone of development company Farm Energy. But it will depend on the success of the offshore wind industry, he says. In its Energy White Paper, the government expects a generation shortfall of 20-25 GW by 2020. This has led to new nuclear energy being talked up by some as essential for averting a future energy crisis. Crone, however, points out that Britain needs to install 28-35 GW of renewables capacity to meet a likely EU target for 20-25% of electricity to come from green sources. That is more than enough to replace old fossil fuel and nuclear capacity, he says. EU member countries earlier this year agreed to head for a Europe-wide target of 20% renewables by 2020. Agreements on how much each country will contribute to the overall target are currently being agreed.
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