Britain rolls out solar energy strategy

Oct. 9, 2013 at 8:17 AM

LONDON, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- The British government said its first-ever solar strategy calls for 20 gigawatts of solar installed by 2020, more than 1,000 percent of what's on the grid.

British Climate Change Minister Greg Barker unveiled the government's first-ever solar energy road map Tuesday.

"My ambition [is for] for 20GW of solar [power] within a decade," he said in a London speech. "We've had almost 1.7GW capacity installed."

Barker said advances in solar energy can take place but only through thoughtful management. He said he was working to get ahead of complaints that solar farms were interfering with agricultural and other rival land uses.

"We have already strengthened the planning guidance to provide a stronger voice to communities affected by projects," he said.

He said the government expects to have 10GW of solar power installed by 2020 but "we can go faster and further."

The International Energy Agency said solar power capacity grew more than 40 percent from 2011-12.

A European Union renewable energy directive calls on members to ensure they get 20 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2020.

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