Scotland targets 50% of renewable energy by 2030

Illustration (Image: Pelamis/ archive)

Scottish Government aims for 50% of renewable energy in the country’s energy mix by 2030. The target was revealed yesterday as part of consultation on Scotland’s first energy strategy.

The draft Scottish Energy Strategy was published on January 24, setting out a vision for 2050 that revolves around low carbon energy at affordable prices to consumers in all parts of Scotland.

The government said the vision will be supported next month when it will announce details of up to £50 million in funding to be awarded to 13 projects, at sites across Scotland, which will demonstrate low carbon or renewable electricity, heating or storage solutions.

Scotland has a third of UK’s tidal stream resources and two thirds of its wave resources, the government said in the newly released document. “The potential exists to generate more electricity than we currently need from the waters around the Scottish coast.”

To support the future development of marine energy in Scotland, the Scottish Government said it will work with the sector to demonstrate to the public and private investment community the strong industrial potential of marine energy and to press for continued UK Government support. It will also continue to offer support through REIF and other financial mechanisms, and support innovation and cost-reduction through the continued funding of Wave Energy Scotland.

As well as setting ambitious targets, the draft Scottish Energy Strategy also seeks views on a number of issues including the steps Scottish Government can take to support the full range of renewable energy technologies to both meet domestic electricity demand and to provide economic opportunities for Scotland and opportunities for communities to invest.

The authorities are also consulting public on the establishment of a Scottish Government-owned energy company and its potential remit in meeting Scotland’s energy needs.

Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “The Scottish Government is determined to support a stable, managed transition to a low carbon economy in Scotland, recognising the very real need to decarbonise our heat supplies and transport system. The oil and gas sector will continue to play a vital role during that transition, because our economy will continue to require hydrocarbons over this period.

“In particular, the renewable energy sector, which now employs more than 11,000 people in Scotland, and which has been a major driver of Scotland’s economy in recent years, has the potential to grow even further, helping us meet our climate change targets through extending our success in decarbonising electricity supplies to secure a step-change in decarbonising energy for heat and transport. Through this, we can build the right environment for innovation, investment and the creation of even more high value jobs in Scotland.”

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

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