BRITAIN'S RENEWABLE: 15%
REUTERS - Britain is on track to meet its 2020 European renewable energy target and its commitment will not be affected by the country's vote to leave the EU, government officials said.
Britain has a target to meet 15 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020, but had achieved just over 8 percent by the end of 2015.
The country's power grid operator, National Grid, said last week that the target won't be reached until 2022 at the earliest, but Andrew Jones, parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Transport, said on Wednesday he was confident the goal would be reached on time.
"We have a target for 2020 and we think we are going to meet it," Jones told a cross-party group of lawmakers.
The target is a legally binding commitment set by the European Commission.
Britain could be fined by the European Commission if it misses the target.
Its electricity sector is on course to meet its expected contribution to the target but energy used in transport and for heating homes and buildings is well behind what is needed.
There is a sub-target for 10 percent of energy used in transport to be from renewable sources by 2020, but this stood at just 4.1 percent last year.
Jones said progress was being made on increasing the amount of renewable biofuels used in transport and this would grow rapidly over the next few years.
Ministers also said targets would remain intact even though Britain was leaving the EU, a move that is expected to take a few years to negotiate.
"We are as a department and government working towards the 2020 target as something we intend to honour," said Nicholas Bourne, parliamentary under secretary of state for the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
"We are working on the basis these (targets) remain relevant and binding on the United Kingdom," he said.
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