Energy strategy targets half of Scotland's energy to come from renewables by 2030

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 20 December 2017 in News

The energy strategy includes a £20m Energy Investment Fund and a £60m Low Carbon Innovation Fund to boost renewable and low carbon infrastructure

Image credit: RES

The Scottish Government has announced £80m in funding for low carbon projects as part of efforts for 50 per cent of Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity consumption to be supplied from renewable sources by 2030.

The energy strategy, published today, includes a £20m Energy Investment Fund and a £60m Low Carbon Innovation Fund to boost renewable and low carbon infrastructure.

As well as aiming for half of Scotland’s energy consumption to come from renewables, the strategy targets a 30 per cent increase in the productivity of energy use across the Scottish economy by 2030.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, energy minister Paul Wheelhouse announced minsters would consult on plans for a publicly owned energy company by the end of 2018.

The company, operating on a not-for-profit basis, will aim to support economic development and help tackle fuel poverty.

Wheelhouse said: “Scotland has world class skills, expertise and knowledge, from the North Sea oil and gas industry to our academic institutions and smaller start-ups to our cutting edge low carbon technology.

“This strategy recognises and builds on our achievements to date and on Scotland’s capacity for innovation. It places consumers, and their interests, more firmly than ever at the heart of everything that we do.

“We are leading the way in promoting community and locally owned renewable energy – well ahead of the rest of the UK – as figures announced today demonstrate.

“This strategy will guide decisions of the Scottish Government over the coming decades. We want to make sure, within the scope of our devolved powers, good stewardship of Scotland’s energy sector – something we have called the UK Government to step up to for years.”

Gina Hanrahan, Acting Head of Policy at WWF Scotland said: “It’s great to see the Scottish Government cement its ambitions to deliver half of our energy from renewable sources by 2030. In uncertain times for investment, it is a strong statement that Scotland is open for low-carbon business and plans to build on its fantastic progress on renewable electricity in the heat and transport sectors.”

She added: “To ensure a truly effective, joined-up strategy, more effort needs to be put into developing policy to reduce our demand for energy in the first place. The Scottish Government needs to enable people to get out of their cars, insulate their homes and improve the energy efficiency of their businesses.

“With growing demand for the Climate Change Bill to increase our ambition in line with the Paris Agreement, a clearer vision and bold, substantive policies will be needed more than ever. The final Climate Change Plan, due in February, should be the real test of whether this strategy is given teeth.”

Meanwhile Ronnie Quinn, chief executive of Crown Estate Scotland, pledged to support carbon capture and storage and help renewable energy developers “access seabed at the right time and on the right terms to help their projects succeed”.

He said: “The waters around Scotland have fantastic potential, particularly for offshore wind in deeper waters. With costs being lowered and jobs created in operations and maintenance as well as throughout the supply chain, new leasing has the potential to benefit communities, consumers and the climate - as well as contributing to the revenues that Crown Estate Scotland passes to Scottish Government.”

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