Plans have recently been published by the Scottish government that outline their aim to have half of Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity needs to be met by renewable energy. The plan sets out a vision for the transition away from being dependent on fossil fuels and towards a low-carbon economy by 2050. Renewable sources only accounted for 13% of Scotland’s total energy consumption in 2013.
The Scottish Energy Strategy
The draft Scottish Energy Strategy suggests that the country could take advantage of new techniques and technology by using hydrocarbons. And, says the government will work with the renewable energy industry to explore potential opportunities for carbon capture and energy storage projects to help achieve the plan.
The ambitious strategy sets out a renewed approach on energy efficiency, pledging to make Scotland’s domestic and commercial properties near zero carbon by 2050. The government have said it would outline details of up to £50m in funding for 13 renewable energy projects across the country.
Data published in 2016 proved that Scotland had surpassed their target in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 42% six years ahead of its target. This data clearly demonstrates that Scotland is leading the way in the renewable energy revolution.
Sending a Strong Message
WWF Scotland welcomed the newly set out 50% target and said it sends a “strong message to both businesses and industry, that Scotland objective is to build on its progress in the renewable energy sector.
The target was greeted by opposition parties, but they called for more details on how the plan would be achieved and what would be required to do so. Alexander Burnett of the Conservative Party said that substantial financial investment would be needed in renewable heat and energy-efficiency measures in order for the new plan to be achieved.
Mark Ruskell of the green political party Scottish Greens said the government must match the new target with a full commitment to keep Scotland free from hydraulic fracking, which has received a lot of negative media coverage recently. The highly controversial process of extracting natural gas is said to have caused earthquakes, and some environmentalists suggest it can release carcinogenic chemicals into the atmosphere.
He also said that there needs to be a more detailed plan on how almost two million domestic properties could be transferred to low-carbon heating by 2032. This would be to meet the 80% target of heat coming from renewable energy sources.