A new report has shown that Scotland is on track to miss its 100% renewable energy target if further investment is not made into onshore and offshore wind.
According to the new report, published by trade organization Scottish Renewables, Scotland’s renewable energy sector is currently only on track to generate 87% of the country’s annual demand for power by 2020, instead of the targeted 100%. Scottish Renewables, therefore, is again calling on the UK Government to increase and firm-up support for the wind industry.
The report comes amid a much-larger controversy involving the newly-positioned Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd, and a leaked letter which — despite previous statements to the contrary — states that the United Kingdom as a whole will also miss its 2020 renewable energy targets.
On Monday, it was revealed by way of a leaked inter-departmental letter that the UK was set to fall 3.5% behind its commitment to obtain 15% of its energy from renewables by 2020 — confronting news to say the least, not to mention its proximity to the upcoming UN climate negotiations set to be held in Paris at the end of this month.
Speaking before the Energy and Climate Change committee on Wednesday, Amber Rudd admitted that the letter was accurate, and that the UK simply does not have the correct policies in place necessary to achieve its publicly-stated, UN-submitted renewable energy targets.
This impacts heavily on Scotland, which has been a leading player globally in the renewable energy industry. Wind energy has continued to astound witnesses, accounting for increasingly large portions of Scotland’s daily electricity requirements.
However, if there is not governmental support for the onshore and offshore wind industries, in-place targets will not be met. Offshore wind, especially, requires the attention of government support schemes if it is to begin playing alongside stable renewable energy technologies like onshore wind and solar — not to mention the traditional fossil fuel generators.
“Scotland has come a long way in a short space of time, with supportive policies at Westminster and Holyrood delivering an incredible transformation in our electricity industry,” said Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables. “The renewables sector now employs some 21,000 people, is delivering around £1 billion pounds of capital investment each year, and has displaced carbon emissions equivalent to the whole of our transport sector.”
“The 100% target has provided a powerful focus for government, industry and supporting bodies like HIE and Scottish Enterprise, and really put Scotland’s renewable energy industry on the map. However, current projections show that we’re not going to meet it unless we get more projects going ahead between now and 2020.
“There are consented schemes onshore and offshore that could get us there, but they can only go ahead if they are allocated a long term contract for their power,” Stuart added.
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