The UK offers a model for renewable energy growth.
Michael Rosenfeld, Vice Consul in the British Consulate-General in Los Angeles, co-leads the UK Renewable Energy Strategy in the United States. He serves as a commercial officer with UK Trade & Investment, responsible for promoting trade opportunities for British companies with products and services to sell into the US market and investment opportunities for American firms targeting the UK.
The United Kingdom stands at the forefront of renewable energy market development. The 2002 Renewables Obligation sets out a progressive strategy for achieving environmental protection, energy reliability and a competitive marketplace for industry and investment. The goals are ambitious: generating 10 percent of total UK electricity supply from renewable sources by 2010; 15.4 percent by 2015; and 20 percent by 2020.
While the environmental and social benefits inherent in this obligation are unquestionably significant, so too are the positive implications for business. To meet its goals, the UK will install a minimum of 8,500 MW of renewable generating capacity by 2020, dramatically increasing the scope of what many experts suggest is already the fastest growing renewable energy market in the world. Recent third-party analysis estimates that the Renewable Obligation will be worth nearly $2 billion per year to the UK renewables industry by 2010. A January 2004 supply chain gap analysis forecasts that the UK renewable energy market will require expenditures of up to $25 billion to reach the 2020 goals, giving rise to an industry with up to 35,000 new jobs.