British companies have announced plans to invest a total of £2.5bn in renewable energy projects, according to the Energy Secretary Chris Huhne.
The plans, announced in the financial year so far, could create almost 12,000 jobs across the country according to research by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
It came as Mr Huhne reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to meeting the European Union’s target for the UK, which would see 15pc of energy generated from renewable sources by 2020. The wider EU target is 20pc.
“Renewable energy is not just helping us increase our energy security and reduce our emissions. It is supporting jobs and growth across the country, and giving traditional industrial heartlands the opportunity to thrive again,” Mr Huhne said.
A separate report to the European Commission showed the UK’s consumption of renewable energy increased by 27pc between 2008 and 2010, when it represented 3.3pc of total energy consumed. Wind generation rose by 46pc over the same period and the use of biofuels in transport rose threefold.
“Our renewable target is less demanding than other EU member states, but the effect is bringing real jobs and investment,” Mr Huhne said.
“I do not want the UK to be left behind by turning our back on the green economy.”