Scotland urged to set 50% renewable energy target by 2030

Illustration/AHH tidal turbine for MeyGen project (Photo: Atlantis Resources

WWF Scotland and Scottish Renewables have called the Scottish Ministers to set a new target to ensure half of all energy used in Scotland comes from renewable sources by 2030.

Environmental and industry groups’ call comes in the wake of what they call a ‘landmark’ year for renewables in Scotland.

The groups have also published a synopsis of key Scottish renewables achievements of 2016 which include the fully operational tidal energy array off Shetland, developed by Nova Innovation.

The significant developments in Scottish tidal energy industry as cited by the groups also include the trials of the world’s largest floating tidal turbine, Scotrenewables Tidal Power’s SR2000, in Orkney, and the first power generated from what is expected to become the world’s biggest tidal power scheme in the Pentland Firth, known as the MeyGen tidal array project.

Lang Banks, Director of WWF Scotland, said: “2016 was without doubt a landmark year for renewables in Scotland, with several world firsts achieved, new records set, and amazing innovation shown. With almost three-fifths of our electricity needs now being met from renewable sources Scotland is truly blazing a trail globally for pollution-free power.

“Analysis has shown that a 50 per cent renewables target for all our energy needs by 2030 is not only needed, but that it is achievable. Ministers should now make this a Scottish government target and bring in the policies needed in its forthcoming energy strategy.”

Director of Policy at Scottish Renewables, Jenny Hogan, said: “In particular, a new target for at least 50 per cent of Scotland’s energy needs to come from renewable sources in 2030 would enable us to continue to build on the economic and environmental benefits our industry is already delivering.

“While renewables are now Scotland’s leading source of electricity, we have only just begun to address the need to reduce the carbon emissions from our heat and transport sectors.

“The Scottish government’s planned new Energy Strategy gives us a chance to make the radical changes required in both if we are to get anywhere close to meeting our future climate change targets.”

Other significant renewable energy developments across Scotland in 2016 include wind turbines which produced more power than was used in the whole of Scotland on a single day, start of operations of Scotland’s biggest solar farm in Tayside, and the completion of the UK’s largest community rooftop solar project in Edinburgh, the groups have said.

As reported earlier, Scottish Renewables outlined the key objectives and policy requirements for the Scottish government in its ‘Renewed Ambitions: A Plan for Renewable Energy in Scotland’ as the government prepares to publish its Energy Strategy for Scotland in early 2017.

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