On its current course, the UK government will fail to meet its 2020 target of 15% renewable energy, MPs on the Energy and Climate Change Committee have warned in a report.
The overall goal includes sub-targets of 30% in electricity, 12% in heat and 10% in transport. While the government is expected to surpass the electricity sub-target, this may not make up for underperformance in heat and transport, the MPs say.
"The experts we spoke to were clear: the UK will miss its 2020 renewable energy targets without major policy improvements," said Angus MacNeil, chair of the committee, and called of urgent action on heat and transport.
The UK is not yet halfway towards the 12% renewable heat target, the committee points out, and the proportion of renewable energy in transport fell last year to 4.23% from 4.93% in 2014.
According to the report, the government should revise its proposed reforms to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) to reflect that heat pumps have proven unsatisfactory, biomass has been successful and biomethane is key to the 2020 target.
In transport, the committee recommend that the level of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), which has been capped at 4.75% since 2013, be raised without delay.
In 2015, renewable sources provided 8.31% of all UK energy, including 22.31% of electricity, 5.64% of heat and 4.23% of transport, the report said, using government statistics.
The UK's 15% overall renewable energy goal and the 10% transport target were set as part of the EU's 2009 Renewable Energy Directive. In addition, each member state was required to adopt sub-targets for electricity, heat and transport.
"We agreed our 2020 renewable energy targets as part of the EU but they still have many merits, even as the UK Government prepares for Brexit," said MacNeil. "If the UK reneges on these targets, it will undermine confidence in the Government’s commitment to clean energy and the climate targets agreed in Paris," he added.
Choose your newsletter by Renewables Now. Join for free!