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A Renewable Electricity Scotland By 2030

Scotland could entirely decarbonise by 2030 and supply all its electricity needs using renewable energy, according to a new report published Monday by WWF.

The new report, which tested Scotland’s current policies to decarbonise the country’s electricity system, by 2030, found that “decarbonising the power sector by 2030 is the cheapest, most effective pathway to hitting legally-binding climate targets.” However, “with no guarantee that Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) will be commercialised and rolled out in time, Scotland’s climate targets could easily be missed unless a safer pathway is followed.

“It’s great to see the vision for a secure, renewables-based future for Scotland independently tested and proven,” said WWF Scotland’s Climate and Energy Policy Officer, Gina Hanrahan. “It’s clear that Scotland doesn’t have to generate electricity from coal, gas or nuclear to ensure security of supply.”

The “high risk” pathway to meet the country’s 2030 decarbonisation target is down to the Scottish Government’s Electricity Generation Statement 2013 assuming CCS will be operating at scale within the next decade.


Image Credit: via WWF

Therefore, the report, based upon technical analysis conducted by international energy and engineering consultancy DNV GL, highlighted another method instead — a renewables-based system — which is “perfectly feasible by 2030.”


Image Credit: via WWF

“We’d still like to see CCS tested at Peterhead, but given how slowly this technology is progressing, it makes sense to explore alternative paths to achieving the Government’s own target,” continued Hanrahan. “The report shows that not only is a renewable, fossil-fuel free electricity system perfectly feasible in Scotland by 2030, it’s actually the safe bet. Pursuing this pathway would allow Scotland to maintain and build on its position as the UK and Europe’s renewable powerhouse, cut climate emissions and continue to reap the jobs and investment opportunities offered by Scotland’s abundant renewable resources.”

ScotlandThe DNV GL analysis doesn’t seem that far from reality, either, considering how Scotland’s renewable energy industry performed over the last few months of 2014.

Scotland’s wind energy generation provided 126% of all home energy needs in October, and 107% in November, while WWF also published figures from the UK’s energy regulator, Ofgem, which showed that Scotland’s solar capacity had increased by 32% in 2014.

At the end of December 2014, energy developer Alstom announced that its tidal stream turbine off the Orkney Islands in Scotland had generated 1 GWh. A few months earlier, the Scottish Government gave approval to four separate offshore wind projects, together amounting to roughly 2.2. GW.

And all of this after Scotland voted “No” on independence, a vote which could have shattered the country’s renewable energy industry.

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