Boost to renewables

to meet the costs of supporting expensive renewable energy schemes, consumers in the UK will have to pay up to US $1.12 billion extra annually for electricity by 2010. This was announced by the British government recently.

"The increase is equivalent to a five per cent rise in electricity prices,' noted John Doddrell, director of the sustainable energy policy unit at the department of trade and industry. The government is all set to introduce a renewables obligation in April 2002 which would make it mandatory for the suppliers to buy a certain amount of their electricity from renewable energy sources.

Suppliers will have to buy three per cent of their power from green sources from April. This will rise to around 10 per cent in 2010. According to the government, the obligation on the suppliers would kick-start the green power sector.

Companies have already announced plans to invest millions in offshore wind farms. At present, Britain produces less than three per cent of its electricity from green sources. The target set by the British government for 2010 is 10 per cent.