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Labour's Leaked 60pc Renewables Target

15 May 10:00 by Steve Walia

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There was much talk over the Labour Party's pre-election manifesto leak, and one topic attracted the interest of environmentalists: the proposed and highly ambitious 60pc target for renewable adoption in the UK, along with a range of support initiatives which could help to bring solar energy back on the energy agenda.

The draft manifesto showed that Labour wanted to guarantee that 60pc of Britain's energy needs would come for renewable sources by 2030. It was unclear whether the target referred only to electricity or to energy as a broader category.

This target would certainly represent a stretch for the country, which has struggled in particular to de-carbonise heating and transport. Britain will currently almost certainly miss its 15pc renewables target by 2020, but it does look on track to meet a 30pc renewable electricity target by this date.

Either way, the pledge would require serious investment. The Corbyn-led party have planned to do this through a National Investment Bank model, which would leverage public funds to encourage private matched investment and ultimately access around £250 billion of finance to fund new infrastructure projects in the coming ten years.

This investment would include energy infrastructure which would become publicly owned, as Labour wants to renationalise large parts of the energy market - particularly transmission and distribution. A Labour government would also create at least one non-profit public energy supplier within each UK region, with profits being ploughed into community renewables and to support cheaper tariffs.

They describe the Conservative government's approach to energy as being expensive, outdated and polluting. Solar support measures would include zero-per-cent homeowner loans so that people can make their properties more energy-efficient. The manifesto is now being refined in advance of its official release later this month.