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Renewables could meet half of Scotland’s energy needs by 2030, report finds

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Analysis finds energy sector must be 'transformed' to meet current climate targets

Half of Scotland’s energy could come from renewable sources by 2030, according to fresh analysis.

A report published this week states Scotland can meet current climate targets, but only if 50% of all energy used in the country comes from renewables by the end of next decade.

The analysis, by consultants Ricardo Energy and Environment, identifies a number of key actions that must be taken to reach that target.

These include heating 40% of Scottish homes by renewable energy; pushing through a national efficiency programme to reduce energy use by 30%; and generating almost all electricity from renewable sources.

Any way you look at it, a rapid transition to renewable energy makes sense

Meanwhile, one in three cars, and half of all buses, should be electric, with a long-term plan to phase out fossil-fuel vehicles entirely, the report states.

It goes on to list a number of “welcome benefits” including the creation of new jobs, warmer, healthier homes, and cleaner air, helping reduce the burden on the NHS.

The analysis, for WWF Scotland, Friends of the Earth Scotland and RSPB Scotland, comes as the Scottish Government develops a new energy strategy.

Colin McNaught, managing consultant at Ricardo Energy and Environment said the analysis was the “most sophisticated model yet” for what Scotland’s energy system will look like in 2030 if climate targets are to be met.

He added: “A major transformation across all the energy sectors will need to take place, but the technologies are already available and Scotland has the renewable resources to supply them.”

Lang Banks, WWF Scotland director, said: “This report shows that a 50% 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.

Doing so would enable Scotland to enjoy the many economic and social benefits that the report suggests would take place as result of generating half of all our energy needs from renewables.”

Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, added: “This report shows that investing in tackling climate change brings many other benefits, including helping create jobs in low-carbon sectors, improving people’s living conditions and cleaning up the toxic traffic pollution that blights our towns and cities.

“Any way you look at it, a rapid transition to renewable energy makes sense.”

Colin Howden, director of Transform Scotland, claimed the country’s transport strategy had been “stuck in neutral” since 1990.

He said: “We need to level the playing field so that public transport, cycling and walking can compete with the private car, and have a long-term strategy that clearly shows how all transport will shift over to low-carbon.”

Alexa Morrison, senior policy officer at RSPB Scotland, welcomed the report’s findings.

“Bringing down the emissions of our whole energy system, including strong action on heat and transport, is crucial to protect our natural environment from climate change,” she said.

“We know that, if we plan the roll out of renewables carefully to avoid our most sensitive places for wildlife, we can meet these targets in harmony with nature.”



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Scottish Scientist
over 4 years ago
This SNP Scottish government has DENIED ITSELF sufficient borrowing powers for investment in / support and subsidy of the renewable energy and every other sector in Scotland.Nicola Sturgeon's government TIED ITS OWN HANDS when it signed the Fiscal Framework Agreement with the UK Treasury which prevents the Scottish government borrowing another £10 billion a year from the central bank for investment.So yes let's press for more investment from the Scottish government but that means pressing for a Scottish government which fights for more borrowing powers to invest, which rips up and repudiates the tartan-Tory fiscal framework stitch up between the SNP and the Tory-run UK Treasury.The new politics Scotland needs can only come from political leaders who will RESIST this rotten fiscal framework imposition and who will FIGHT for a much better deal, or at the very least use the UK's refusal of a better fiscal framework as yet another reason to press for Scottish independence.But instead the SNP government simply signs a bad fiscal framework deal and pretends that all is well.Instead the SNP government have signed up to a rotten deal and patted themselves on the back for doing so, claiming they did "a good job / deal" when they did no such thing.The SNP government are in denial about the Fiscal Framework Agreement sabotage of the necessary investment in the future for Scotland which we all want to see.The SNP government are failing to govern Scotland competently and we need other political leaders and commentators to start pointing this out, start holding the SNP to account, stop letting the SNP get away with selling Scotland short.In effect, Nicola Sturgeon by signing this bad fiscal framework agreement has said that Scotland is "too wee, too poor and too stupid" for the Scottish government to be entitled to borrow another £10 billion a year but it is simply not true.We are being betrayed once again by another parcel of rogues in a nation.Scottish Scientist Independent Scientific Adviser for Scotland
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Rose Burn
over 4 years ago
The real question is what will supply the other 50% of our energy as Holyrood policy is against nuclear or coal or fracking, so we will have to rely on North Sea fields (fast running down) or import gas from eg Russia. Hmmm.