Scotland on course to exceed renewable energy target

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Industry body Scottish Renewables has published a report that shows Scotland is on track to exceed the current objective of meeting 50 per cent of its electricity needs from renewable generation by 2020.

Since the target was set in 2007, industry and government have announced agreements for 10.6GW of offshore wind development, commitments to 1.2GW of wave and tidal power in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters, 1,200MW of additional potential hydro capacity and proposals for more than 500MW of biomass heat and power.

Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: ’The current Holyrood administration set ambitious targets for 50 per cent of electricity consumption and 20 per cent of all primary energy use to be met by renewables by 2020. These objectives were dismissed as unachievable and unworkable at the time, but Scotland’s renewable energy industry has grown massively over the last few years, putting us well on track to meet this objective ahead of schedule.’

Stuart believes that it is now time for Scotland to set out a new target for the next decade, and the report suggests that it should be set at 80 per cent at the least.

The ’Driving the Low Carbon Economy: Renewing Our Ambitions’ report shows that the projected growth of renewables could prevent between 11.7m and 15.3m tonnes of CO2 emissions every year, but warns that none of this can be taken for granted.

Stuart added: ’To achieve this scale of ambition in the timescales set out will require investment on a massive scale and concerted support from all levels of government.’