Industry body calls for Scotland to target half of all energy from renewables by 2030

  • Scotland

    Scottish Renewables has recommended an ambitious target of 51,500GWh of renewable electricty generation by 2030. Image: FlickrTickr.

Trade body Scottish Renewables has called for Scotland to derive half of its total energy demand from renewables by 2030 ahead of this year’s Scottish election.

The group has today published a manifesto setting out what it labels an ambitious aim to derive 50% of the country’s total electricity, heat and transport demand from renewable sources.

In 2014 Scotland’s renewable electricity generators produced just under 19,000GWh and this has been forecast to reach 33,000GWh by 2020 as part of Scotland’s EU targets. Scottish Renewables however wants this to be expanded to 51,500GWh by 2030, equivalent to around 110% of total demand.

The surplus in electricity generation would offset lower heat and transport contributions – 20% and 14% of demand respectively – to produce total combined energy generation from renewables of 67,100GWh.

Niall Stuart, chief executive at Scottish Renewables, said that existing targets for 2020 had signalled a “clear intent” for Scotland to lead the way in transitioning towards 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.

"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,” Stuart said.

While both onshore wind would undoubtedly be Scotland’s prime source of renewable energy the country has a growing reputation for solar. A number of large ground-mount projects are expected to complete before March’s 1.3 ROC deadline and the country has moved to stimulate further development by opting against the removal of grandfathering rights and banding review initiated for developments south of the border by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Another way in which a future Scottish government could move to support solar, according to Scottish Renewables’ manifesto, is to make the case for ‘subsidy-free’ CfDs for solar. With solar and other ‘pot one’ technologies looking all but excluded from the three auctions outlined by energy secretary Amber Rudd in November, the concept of subsidy-free CfDs has come to the fore. DECC is understood to be exploring the idea, albeit at an early stage.

Scottish citizens take to the polls in May this year.

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