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Thursday, September 24, 1998 Published at 01:56 GMT 02:56 UK


Renewable energy use to double

Ministers want more power from wind farms to be used

The government is set to order electricity companies to double the amount of power they buy from renewable non-polluting energy sources.

Margaret Gilmore reports: The key to a sustainable future
The announcement on Thursday should mean that within the next five years almost 1.5m new homes will rely entirely on hydro-electric or wind power for their energy needs.

The Energy Minister, John Battle, is also set to announce details of subsidies to ensure that these customers do not have to pay more than consumers who use cheaper electricity created by burning coal and gas.

[ image: Cleaner electricity for the future]
Cleaner electricity for the future
The policy is intended to help the government achieve its target of ensuring that at least 10% of Britain's power consumption is met by renewable energy within the next 12 years.

It will also help reduce the amount of polluting greenhouse gases produced by burning oil and gas.

Greenhouse gases trap heat inside the earth's atmosphere, so causing temperatures to increase and sea levels to rise as the polar ice caps melt.

Environment Correspondent Margaret Gilmore: A major boost for renewable energy
Environmental groups have welcomed the government's initiative. However, they have called for ministers to make an even greater commitment to renewable energy and to scrap nuclear power.

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