Scotland announces new ambitious energy targets for 2030

The Scottish government has published its new Energy Strategy pledging that 50 percent of all Scotland’s energy needs, including heat, transport, and electricity will be met with renewables by 2030.

The strategy also aims for an increase of 30 percent in energy productivity across the economy. To this end, the government revealed £80 million in new investment in the energy sector, the majority of which- i.e. £60 million, will be dedicated to low-carbon innovation.

Scotland is already aiming to meet 100 percent of the nation’s electricity needs with renewable energy sources by 2020. In 2016, the equivalent of 54 percent of the country’s gross electricity consumption was met with clean energy sources.

Recently released data about this year showed that 2017 is on track to become a record year for renewable electricity generation since the figures for the first three quarters are 19 percent greater than the same period in 2016.

This time, though, Scotland encompassed the transport and heat sector in its renewable energy targets- two traditionally challenging sectors for the country. The heating sector alone accounts for 51 percent of the total energy consumed in households and businesses, and the transport sector accounts for 25 percent of total energy demand.

Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Minister of Business, Energy, and Innovation, said that the government counts heavily on wind energy for this target to be met.

“We expect onshore wind to play a growing and invaluable role in our transition to a low carbon future”.

“The support and investment frameworks for onshore wind have fundamentally changed, just as the technology is also changing – with moves towards larger, more efficient turbines which have made onshore wind highly cost-effective”, he said.

Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “The huge ambition of the new target is to be commended. The Strategy creates a framework for us as an industry, Scotland’s policymakers, and the public to think in different ways about energy supply and demand”.

“It should also provide much-needed impetus to tackle issues like the decarbonisation of our heat supply, levels of fuel poverty and the challenges presented by the roll-out of electric vehicles”, she added.

Gina Hanrahan, Acting Head of policy at WWF Scotland, said: “It’s great to see the Scottish Government cement its ambitions to deliver half of our energy from renewable sources by 2030. In uncertain times for investment, it is a strong statement that Scotland is open for low-carbon business and plans to build on its fantastic progress on renewable electricity in the heat and transport sectors”.

You can access the full “Scottish Energy Strategy: The future of energy in Scotland” report here.  

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