The UK Energy Research Centre has warned that investment in renewable energy could suffer in the absence of a decarbonisation target for 2030.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey today announced details of the forthcoming Energy Bill.
The decision on the UK’s 2030 carbon emissions target has been postponed until 2016, while spending on renewables infrastructure will rise to £7.6bn by 2020.
Mr Davey said the “durable agreement” would give the certainty needed to investors to inject up to £110bn in infrastructure projects, securing 250,000 British jobs.
UKERC said the announcement about the Energy Bill is welcomed in that it provides confirmation of the Government's commitment to meet the emission reduction and renewables targets to 2020.
"The decision not to include a 2030 electricity decarbonisation target has attracted criticism from several sources," a spokesman said.
"Forthcoming research from the UK Energy Research Centre, due for publication early next year, clearly indicates that if the UK is to meet its legally binding carbon emission reduction targets, set out in the Climate Change Act, then lack of clarity over subsequent targets is unlikely to get us there cost effectively.
"The absence of a 2030 decarbonisation target in the Bill may not persuade investors of the need for new manufacturing assets in the UK, as there is a risk that these could be stranded after 2020 once the current targets have been met.
"If low-carbon investors do not feel sufficiently secure in the UK actually to build their factories and their supply chains here, they may continue to source a large proportion of low-carbon equipment from overseas.
"The still large-scale deployment of low-generation technologies over the next eight years could mean a missed opportunity for a UK-based supply chain due to the lack of subsequent targets."
Mr Davey said the deal reached within Government on the Energy Bill is "true to the Coalition Agreement".
"They mean we can introduce the Energy Bill next week and have essential electricity market reforms up and running by 2014 as planned," he said.
“They will allow us to meet our legally binding carbon reduction and renewable energy obligations and will bring on the investment required to keep the lights on and bills affordable for consumers.”
One fifth of the UK’s electricity generating capacity is due to close by 2020, and £110 billion investment in new infrastructure.