UK could deliver up to four times its current energy consumption from renewable sources, says RSPB
Report finds Scotland could increase its onshore wind capacity by three times, and its solar capacity by 30 times
The UK has the potential to deliver up to four times its current energy consumption from renewable sources, according to a new report from the RSPB.
The report, ‘The RSPB’s 2050 Energy Vision’, aims to balance the need for the UK to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, while protecting wildlife.
The report found that, with sufficient investment, Scotland could increase its onshore wind capacity by three times, and its solar capacity by 30 times.
But it called for greater investment in monitoring of wildlife distributions and sensitivities, especially in the marine environment, to reduce the impact of new renewables projects on environmentally sensitive areas.
Stuart Housden, director of RSPB Scotland said: “Our research shows that a low carbon energy future in harmony with nature is possible, and we have set out a positive vision for how this can be done without harming Scotland’s special places for wildlife.
“It’s critical that we work together now to make this happen. Climate change is one of the single biggest threats to people and nature alike, but with Scotland’s nature in decline, we have a responsibility to invest in an energy system that works for both people and our natural heritage. The Government has a key role in developing a strategic approach to spatial planning to guide the right developments to the right places.
“We have shown that this can be achieved affordably and securely, and are committed to continuing to work with responsible developers and decision-makers to help achieve our vision.”
The RSPB said a large proportion of the potential for low-carbon energy generation is based in offshore renewables in deeper waters, using wave and floating wind technologies, but it also identified the research also identified areas suitable for onshore renewable projects.
The document assume demand for energy will be reduced by a third, which would require additional investment in home energy efficiency.
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