LONDON, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Efforts to advance renewable energy in Great Britain could generate billions of dollars worth of investments in the country, the energy secretary said.
A report from the British Department of Energy and Climate Change concluded that companies this fiscal year unveiled plans to invest $3.8 billion in renewable energy projects in the United Kingdom.
"Renewable energy is not just helping us increase our energy security and reduce our emissions," Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said in a statement. "It is supporting jobs and growth across the country and giving traditional industrial heartlands the opportunity to thrive again."
A British report to the European Commission found the region last year used renewable energy for 3.3 percent of its total consumption. Wind generation increased by 46 percent last year when compared to 2008 levels and the use of biofuels grew by more than 3 percent during roughly the same period.
The European Union has a bloc-wide goal of using renewable energy to meet 20 percent of its demand by 2020.
Huhne this month said London was focused on the "easy wins" like better insulation, improving fuel efficiency of new cars and building more gas- and renewable-fired energy technology. Without a move away from fossil fuels, he added, British consumers can expect to pay $7,355 per year on energy costs by 2050.