Thanks to Tony Blair not knowing the difference between energy and electricity, Britain must get 15% of its final energy consumption from renewables by 2020.
Is this doable, and is Britain on track to do it?
DECC has just published its latest (rather lengthy) batch of annual energy statistics. They tell us that Britain now gets 7% of its final energy consumption from renewables.
This statistic can be confusing. BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy tells us that Britain gets 7.8% of its energy from renewables. The reason for this is that BP uses primary, and not final, energy consumption.
If you want to track how countries are progressing against the 2020 EU renewables targets, it is not a good idea to look at anything other than EU or governmental data. Other international energy statistics will not give you an accurate picture. A second reason is that many EU countries get large amounts of renewable energy from burning wood to heat their homes, but this energy consumption is not picked up in some international statistics.
Caveats and notes out of the way.
So, Britain got 7% from renewables last year. The figures for the previous two years were 4.7% and 5.6%.
The renewables percentage thus went up by 1.4% last year. 6 more years of that and Britain will be at 15.4% renewables.
At current growth rates Britain is more or less on track to meet the target.
Tory policy may change things. Attacks on onshore wind farms will likely make meeting this rather questionable target much more difficult. But we will see.