David Howell, a former secretary of state for energy and now minister of state at the British Foreign Office, told delegates at the Institute of Energy Economics in Japan that his country needed to explore all options if it expects to meet its energy goals.
The British government set a goal of 15 percent of energy needs being derived from renewable energy resources by 2020. The country, said Howell, is leading the world in terms of offshore wind capacity but new renewable resources must play a role in the future energy mix.
Unconventional resources, such as shale gas in the United States, have helped that country make gains in energy independence.
"If the U.S. experience is repeated elsewhere, unconventional gas has the potential to end import dependency for many countries and regions," said Howell in his statement.
Howell stressed that, with unrest in the Middle East creating worldwide problems in the energy market, it was time to take renewable energy more seriously.
"The concept of a low-carbon energy framework is not a gimmick," he said. "It is a pillar of developing sustainable growth in mature economies at a time of unprecedented pressure on resources."