London wants leadership role in renewables

Oct. 27, 2011 at 8:26 AM
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MANCHESTER, England, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- British Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said that, with investments on the rise, his country could become the global center of renewable energy.

Huhne told delegates at a regional renewable energy conference that alternative forms of energy are on pace to deliver a third industrial revolution to the world.

He fended off the "faultfinders and curmudgeons" who said renewable energy was too expensive by pointing to the 32 percent increase in global investments in renewable in 2010. More than half of that, he said, came from the private sector.

He added there was enough renewable energy on the global electricity grid to meet the annual energy demands of 6 million homes. Last year, the low-carbon sector grew by 4.3 percent, creating more than 4,000 jobs.

"At a time when closures and cuts dominate the news cycle, next-generation industries are providing jobs just as in the recovery after the last deep depression in 1929 to 1931," he said.

Meanwhile, his country needs to generate 30 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2020. To meet that goal, he said, London has allocated nearly $50 million for the next four years for wind energy and more than $30 million for commercial marine energy.

"In many ways," he said, "Britain can lay claim to be the home of renewable energy."

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