Hastings and Rye MP ‘misleading on green energy target’

Amber Rudd
Amber Rudd

The MP for Hastings and Rye has been accused of misleading the public by saying the UK is ‘on target’ to hit EU renewable energy targets.

Energy and climate change minister Amber Rudd said in a leaked letter the government are on course to miss the 2020 objective of 15 per cent renewable energy.

According to The Ecologist, which leaked the letter, the shortfall is 25 per cent and the minister plans to fill the gap with biofuels and buying in green energy from abroad.

But the MP denied the allegations at a select committee meeting yesterday (Tuesday, November 10) and said the figures had been confused with Britain’s green electricity targets .

“The trajectory currently leads to a shortfall against the target in 2020 of around 50 TWh (terawatt hours) or 3.5 per cent points in our internal central forecasts (which are not public),” Ms Rudd said in the letter.

“Publicly we are clear that the UK continues to make progress to meet the target.”

The letter was sent to Philip Hammond (foreign secretary), Oliver Letwin (cabinet office), Greg Hands (chief secretary to the treasury) and Patrick McLoughlin (transport secretary).

Ms Rudd claimed at the energy and climate change select committee meeting the government is off the 15 per cent target but can reach it if action is taken on green heat and transport energy.

She said that is why she wrote to other secretaries of state to work across Whitehall to achieve the 2020 goal.

A department for energy and climate change spokesman said: “We do not comment on leaked documents.

“As the secretary of state has set out clearly in the House, renewables made up almost 20 per cent of our electricity generation in 2014 and there is a strong pipeline to deliver our ambition of reaching 30 per cent by 2020.

“We continue to make progress to meet our overall renewable energy target.”

Failure to meet EU renewables targets risks legal action taken in the UK and enormous fines imposed by the European Court of Justice.

The energy secretary has received criticism for her green policies to the point where nearly 2,500 people have signed a petition to have her removed.

Ms Rudd has cut subsidies to solar power projects and ended Green Deal funding, which helped people make their homes more energy efficient.

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