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Climate change: Government deal to boost offshore wind

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A deal confirmed between the UK government and the wind industry will ensure 30% of electricity comes from offshore wind by 2030.The move will help the UK towards an aim of securing almost all its power from low-carbon sources by 2030.It is the latest in a series of agreements with sectors of the economy that are likely to create jobs.But environmentalists are wondering where the other 70% of the UK’s clean electricity will come from. That is because, for several years, government economists have foreseen a three-pronged energy policy by 2030.
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John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said: "Now the government's plans for a fleet of new nuclear reactors has collapsed, it leaves Britain with a big energy gap in future. “It means the latest offshore wind target of 30GW by 2030 is woefully inadequate. “Wind and solar must be tripled between now and 2030, with offshore wind the future backbone of the UK's energy system.”Rachel Reeves, chair of the Commons business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) committee said: "Investment decisions over nuclear plants such as Moorside and Wylfa have left the UK facing a giant hole in its energy policy. “Given that dirty coal is due to go off-line, and the prospects for nuclear looking uncertain, it’s vital the government comes forward with a Plan B to plug the energy gap.”Are there alternatives?Some analysts are more relaxed. Richard Black from the think-tank Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) thinks three new nuclear plants are likely – and he believes the market will sort out the 2030 problem.He told BBC News: "Delivery of new nuclear stations at Hinkley, Sizewell and Bradwell, which looks likely, would provide about 20% of electricity demand."Gas will be providing about 15%, and there'll be a bit of biomass on the system too."As for the rest - new onshore wind needs no subsidy, and offshore wind and solar are at the tipping point of being subsidy-free. So it's reasonable to expect all three to be built through the open market."Follow Roger on Twitter.
Environment
Wind farms
Wind power
Climate change
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