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Renewed hope for global energy

An infographic from Trillion Fund highlights some new milestones representing good renewables news from around the globe. Three European nations: Bulgaria, Sweden and Estonia have met their 2020 renewables targets eight years ahead of schedule. California is also setting a target of 100 per cent renewables across the state. The copious sunshine will surely help greatly.

There is still plenty to be done at home, however. The UK has the third-lowest rates of renewables as a share of energy consumption of the 28 EU states committed to 2020 targets. Much work to be done, then, but that’s not to say that there’s nothing to be positive about in the UK.

In terms of financing renewables, the UK has seen a 13 per cent rise in clean energy finance compared to stark declines in other European nations like Italy (down three quarters) and Germany (down 55 per cent). This progress in monetary terms certainly offers promise of an upsurge in capacity on the ground.

Elsewhere, local councils have retained their powers to mandate renewable energy in new housing developments above and beyond national Building Standards, after 50 organisations wrote a concerned letter to officials suggesting that removing what’s known as the ‘Merton Rule’ would set back carbon reduction in the period before Zero Carbon Homes standards enter the fray in 2016. Signs that energy efficiency powers may be limited, though, are still something to worry about – and industry figures are keeping up the pressure.

In Europe’s clean energy league, the UK can hopefully pull well away from Malta and Luxembourg and start catching up with the Scandinavian nations. Norway, for example, is producing nearly 65 per cent sustainable energy, and is still not resting on its laurels, with the nation’s Sovereign Wealth Fund shifting its investment emphasis towards renewable energy.

Gary Hartley is Energy Saving Trust's expert blogger. He has extensive experience researching and writing on a number of topics, with particular expertise in sustainable energy, policy, literature and sport. As well as providing regular blog content, Gary has also been published in numerous magazines and journals.

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