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UK faces big jump in renewable targets

Sevenfold increase by 2020

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Brussels will next week tell Britain to massively increase use of renewable energy in order to hit increased targets by 2020.

The European Union is setting different targets for different member states. The target is for the average EU country to get 20 per cent of its energy from renewable resources compared to an average of 8.5 per cent now. The UK is currently near the bottom of the list - only Malta and Luxembourg use less renewable energy. Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac signed up to the 20 per cent target in March 2007.

This means Britain will have to increase renewable use to 13-14 per cent by 2020, according to the FT. The deal is still to be passed by member states. The UK's current target is for ten per cent of electricity to come from renewable resources by 2010.

The country by country targets are likely to be highly controversial - Nicolas Sarkozy has already said the targets are unfair and not economically sustainable.

The UK is expected to focus on renewable electricity generation - the targets could increase political support for a tidal barrage across the Severn Estuary.

More from the FT here. ®

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