Holyrood Renewables Summer 2014
Scotland’s renewables sector has many success stories to tell. It is an exciting and vibrant place to work and there are many examples across the country where it is already providing an economic boost that can help fill the gap left by previous industries which have either dwindled or failed.
Orkney is a supreme example of how the constituent parts of the sector have been working together – alongside the community – to help their businesses, the wider industry and the local economies thrive.
At the same time, research continues to show that the image of renewable energy is thought of highly by the public, borne out in a study by Edelman that showed renewables rated highest in its ‘trust barometer’ of people in the UK.
UK offshore wind capacity is on course to more than treble by the end of 2020 and reach between 13GW and 14GW, with greater technology advances helping to bring this about.
And yet despite these successes, there is still concern. Uncertainty over subsidies and fears that future UK government policy could see less support for renewables means that the path for operators and developers is far from straightforward.
The announcement that, for the third year in a row, Scotland has missed its climate-change targets proved something of a wake-up call for the Scottish Government, which, in response, revealed it is establishing a cabinet sub-committee to tackle climate change that will cut across all ministerial departments.
Those emissions figures also ably demonstrated the overriding imperative to try and cut carbon and lead Scotland – and the rest of the world – to a greener society