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Why is the UK so behind the rest of Europe in renewable energy?

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Whilst the UK’s energy consumption from renewables is on the rise, we’re still sadly behind the majority of EU countries; with figures from Eurostat revealing that the UK beats only Malta, Luxembourg and the Netherlands when it comes to renewable energy.

The good news is that renewables have more than quadrupled over the past fifteen years, with the economy becoming much greener and renewable sources accounting for 5.6 per cent of the UK’s total energy consumption.

Although the growth is much slower than other European countries, placing us far below the EU average of approximately 15 per cent, we have made hay while the sun shines. Over fifteen years we managed to reduce greenhouse gases by 23.6 per cent and increased environmental tax revenue to £44.6 billion.

The government’s calls for the scrapping of green tax exemptions utilised by renewable energy companies and bold commitment to the UK’s infrastructure will have a significant and long term effect on renewables. With others in Europe driving forward in such a sensitive sector, these changes could make it even harder to establish and develop the market.

The UK ultimately needs to up the ante in order to meet the interim renewable energy targets, assessing whether its policies are effective enough. Could this perhaps be the kick we needed?

 

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