Scotland’s public sector has the potential to spearhead the next stage of the country’s green energy revolution, helping the country to meet its future climate change targets, according to industry body Scottish Renewables.
On Thursday, Scottish Renewables, the country’s renewable energy industry body, published a new report outlining a set of priority recommendations it believes are the key objectives and policy requirements the Scottish Government should implement as part of its upcoming Energy Strategy for Scotland. The new Strategy is expected to be announced in early 2017, so Scottish Renewables is getting in early with its own recommendations — recommendations that suggest local authorities, NHS Boards, National Park Authorities, enterprise agencies, emergency services, and other public organizations could all play a key role in helping Scotland meet its future climate change targets — including transitioning to renewable energy for power, heat, and transport.
“While significant progress has been made already, there’s a real opportunity here to make further significant changes to the way Scotland generates and uses energy,” said Jenny Hogan, Director of Policy at Scottish Renewables.
“Public bodies can use their planning, procurement and economic development powers to lead Scotland’s transition to a truly low-carbon, sustainable energy system.
“Greening Scotland’s infrastructure and public estates can offer huge benefits in stabilising energy bills, creating jobs, investing in the local economy and cleaning up the environment.
“Local authorities such as North Ayrshire Council have shown how a determination to make the most of our abundant renewable energy resources can make a real contribution towards Scotland’s climate change goals, but there’s much more still to be done.”
Scottish Renewables key priority recommendations comprise the following:
- Set a target for at least 50% of Scotland’s energy needs to come from renewable sources in 2030
- Champion, coordinate, and facilitate the transition to an integrated, low-carbon energy system
- Ensure Scotland’s public sector leads the next chapter of our energy evolution
- Create the conditions to at least treble renewable heat output by 2030
- Create the conditions to at least double the current installed capacity of renewable electricity generation by 2030
- Maximize the electrification and decarbonization of the transport system
- Secure a viable route to market for all renewable technologies
- Become a world-leading center of excellence and expertise in emerging renewable energy technologies and integrated energy systems
- Widen the benefits of renewables by growing the Scottish supply chain and developing a Scottish Renewable Energy Bond
“Changes in our energy system such as the increasing use of energy storage, together with emerging renewable energy technologies like green gas, tidal and wave energy, provide opportunities for Scotland to lead the world,” said Hogan. “The Energy Strategy is a real opportunity for the Scottish Government and the whole public sector to build on success to date and retain Scotland’s place at the forefront of renewable energy development — creating jobs, keeping bills down and combating climate change.”
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