A report has revealed that there is enormous potential to increase generation of electricity from renewable sources in Scotland during the next two decades.
The 'Power of Scotland Renewed' report is based on research by independent energy analyst Garrad Hassan, and was commissioned by Friends of the Earth Scotland, the World Development Movement, WWF Scotland and RSPB Scotland.
It claims that by 2030, renewable energy can meet between 60 per cent and 143 per cent of Scotland's projected annual electricity demand.
If Scotland also meets official targets for saving energy, the research concludes that it is feasible for all fossil-fuel fired generation to be closed by 2030, delivering almost complete decarbonisation for Scotland's electricity supply.
Even in the 'business-as-usual' case, Scotland does not require any new fossil or nuclear capacity to maintain security of supply. Instead, security of supply can be maintained by practical investments in grid upgrades, interconnectors, deferrable demand and electricity storage.
The report comes ahead of a series of UK government announcements, including an energy whitepaper, a renewable energy strategy and a low-carbon industrial strategy.
Duncan McLaren, chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: 'Scotland's Climate Change legislation commits us to cutting overall greenhouse gas emissions by at least 42 per cent by 2020, and at least 80 per cent by 2050. This report shows how Scotland's energy sector can make these targets a reality.'
A copy of the summary of the report is available here: