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Renewable News Round-Up - 23/07/14

It’s been a busy few weeks for not only Duncan Renewables, but also the UK’s renewable energy industry with the resignation of MP Greg Barker, continuing debates on the UK’s carbon budget and the publishing of statistics regarding the level of UK investment into renewable electricity generation.
Greg Barker resigns as Minister for Energy and Climate Change – 14/07/14

Greg Barker, the longest serving climate minister, has resigned from his post as the Minister for Energy and Climate Change. In a move which has surprised the renewable energy community, Greg Barker will additionally step down as MP next May. “For me it’s time to seek new challenges,” said Barker. “I remain 110 per cent supportive of the Prime Minister and his ambition for Britain.”

In a response to Barker’s resignation, the Prime Minister thanked Barker for leading the successful investment into the UK’s energy infrastructure and his contribution in “making the UK a world-leader in renewable technology.” Cameron particularly praised Barker for establishing the Green Investment Bank and achieving over £3 billion investment for the renewables sector during last year alone.

In addition to Barker’s resignation, fellow minister Michael Fallon was sacked from his post within the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) during last week’s cabinet reshuffle. Former Skills and Enterprise Minister Matt Hancock, the Conservative MP for West Suffolk, is to replace Fallon as the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Energy. Greg Barker’s replacement has been named as Amber Rudd, the Conservative MP for Mr Barker’s neighbouring constituency of Hastings and Rye.

In a statement, Energy Secretary Ed Davey welcomed both Hancock and Rudd to DECC by stating that their combined experience and abilities will be an enormous asset in tackling Britain’s energy and climate change challenge.

Click here to read about the full cabinet reshuffle
UK’s carbon targets to remain unchanged – 22/07/14

The government announced yesterday that the UK’s carbon emission reduction targets will remain unchanged from those established three years ago. The fourth carbon budget, covering 2023-2027 was placed under review but will remain at a legally-binding target reduction of 50% against 1990 levels.

The fourth carbon budget is just one of the four interim targets (known as carbon budgets) to monitor the UK’s progress in reducing emissions by 80% by 2050 on 1990 levels.

Described as the most ambitious targets in the developed world, Chancellor, George Osbourne launched a review of the fourth carbon budget last year by claiming that green policies were a burden on business. Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, supported the decision to leave the target unchanged by stating that it would “cement the UK as a global leader in combating climate change in an affordable way.”

Read the full announcement here
Boost for energy efficiency with electricity sector investment – 17/07/14

Ed Davey has announced that a fund of £10 million will be made available this year for business, industry and other organisations in order to improve efficiency and reduce energy demand. In addition to this announcement, DECC also published the first comprehensive review regarding the UK’s investment in the energy sector.

Key figures show that 15% of the UK’s electricity is now generated from renewable sources with the UK’s Electricity Market Reforms leading to the potential support of up to 250,000 jobs in low carbon energy generation by 2020. With regards to renewable energy investment, an average of £7 billion has been invested each year since 2010. 2013 alone achieved a record investment of £8 billion.

Overall, it is estimated that £28.9 billion was invested in renewable electricity capacity between 2010-2013. Investment into renewable electricity generation doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down with further investment expected to total between £40 billion to £50 billion between 2014 and 2020. It is clear that the green revolution is well and truly underway in the UK!

Read the full announcement here

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