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Renewable energy policy in the UK 1990-2003



The UK's renewable energy policy has been characterised by opportunism, cost-limiting caps and continuous adjustments resulting from a lack of clarity of goals. Renewable electricity has had a specific delivery mechanism in place since 1990. The Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation (NFFO) did not deliver deployment; did not create mentors did not promote diversity; was focussed on electricity and was generally beneficial only to large companies. A new support mechanism, the Renewable Obligation, began in April 2002. This may result in more deployment than the NFFO, but is also beneficial to electricity-generating technologies and large, established companies only. The UK Government published a visionary energy policy in early 2003 placing the UK on a path to cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 60% in 2050. This paper argues that unless the Government 'learns' from it's past results, mistakes and difficulties, clarifies the reasons for supporting renewable energy and then follows through with a focussed policy aimed at delivery, diversity and the creation of mentors, it is likely to be no more successful than the previous 13 years of renewable policy. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Topics: TJ, GE
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