Holyrood urged to raise target on renewables
Scotland should set a new target of generating half of its total electricity from renewables by 2030, according to industry body Scottish Renewables.
Meeting the new goal would require a threefold increase in green energy generation, with new figures showing Scotland on track to be more than halfway there by the end of this decade.
Scottish Renewables is calling for the new target as part of its manifesto, Renewed Ambitions: Defining the Future of Renewable Energy in Scotland, launched today (Jan 13) ahead of May’s Scottish Parliament election.
The document sets out how the organisation believes Scotland’s next Government can best support the continued growth of the sector and the economic and environment benefits it is already delivering.
Niall Stuart (pictured), chief executive, said: “Scotland’s ambitious climate change and 2020 renewable energy targets have signalled a clear intent for the country to lead the way in the transition to a low-carbon economy.
“Together, renewables now produce the equivalent of 15% of Scotland’s energy use across electricity, heat and transport.
“But with only four years to go, it is now time to look beyond 2020 and for Scotland to set a stretching target for renewables to produce the equivalent of at least 50% of all energy use across electricity, heat, and transport by 2030.
“That may seem ambitious but we will be more than halfway there by the end of this decade, and Sweden – the European leader – already sources half of all energy from renewables today.
“Achieving this new target will require strategic leadership from the next Scottish Government. The development of a comprehensive and joined-up energy strategy will allow the sector to maintain its competitiveness as well as spearheading the development and deployment of new technologies.
“Not only will these measures support growth in the next chapter of our industry, they will ensure that renewables can play a key role in meeting Scotland’s climate change targets, and maximise the jobs and investment that our sector can bring to Scotland.”
The Scottish Renewables manifesto also calls on the next Scottish Government to:
- Expand community and local ownership of renewable energy projects though the creation of a Scottish Renewable Energy Bond which would allow savers across Scotland to invest in the growth of the renewables industry while also generating a return on their investment
- Ensure Scotland’s public sector acts as an exemplar and spearheads the growth of renewable energy through a target for renewable energy use in heat, power and transport for public bodies
- Accelerate the growth of sustainable transport by allowing the use of bus lanes, providing free parking, and expanding the provision of charging and re-fuelling points for low-carbon vehicles
Mr Stuart added: “There are an increasing number of communities interested in building their own projects or taking a stake in commercial developments. We are keen to build on that and ensure the benefits of renewable energy are shared as widely as possible.
“One way we could achieve this is through the creation of a Scottish Renewable Energy Bond which would allow savers across Scotland to invest in the growth of the renewables industry while also generating a return on their investment.”