UK to invest £100 billion for 15 per cent renewable energy by 2020

In a move to increase electricity production from carbon-free renewable sources in the UK,  the Gordon Brown government will invest around 100 billion pounds to reach its EU-imposed target of producing 15 per cent of the country's energy from renewable sources. Also, soaring oil prices globally in the past few months has forced the British government to look at alternative energy sources.

The British government will increase the number of wind turbines to almost 7,000 in the next 12 years, across the country. The government will work out the details of the 15 per cent renewable energy target, comprising electricity, heating and transport. Up to half of the target will have to come from electricity, meaning a third will have to be generated from renewables by 2020, which will call for a massive wind energy building programme.

The UK giovernment has to achieve the investment to fulfill its emission-reduction targets by 2020, giving it a mere 12 years, leading to a split inthe views between environmentalists and renewable energy suppliers, who questioned whether such a technical undertaking was possible in the time scale.

The green programme will require at least trebling the current scale of wind-farm construction. Adding 4,000 additional onshore turbines compared to the 2,000 already in place, and also installing 3,000 turbines in the sea, at a rate of two every three days between now and 2020, to achieve its target of generating 15 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2020.

The biggest challenge, acording to a government official would be attracting companies to invest the £100 billion investment and also beating competition from other European countries planning to do the same thing. If successful,  the government will also look to create up to 160,000 new jobs by promoting more renewable energy, including making components for wind turbines and electric cabling.

Moves to speed up the connection of renewable energy projects to the national grid are also expected to be announced to help clear a huge backlog of proposed developments.