Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond has set the region a new target on renewable electricity – 50% by 2015.
Speaking at the RenewableUK conference in Glasgow on Tuesday, Salmond said that an updated roadmap indicates that the target is achievable.
“When I became First Minister in 2007, I inherited a target for 50 per cent of Scotland’s electricity to be produced by renewable sources by 2020. We now know that we can achieve much more than that, more quickly – having already exceeded our 2011 target,” he said.
The latest official government figures show that Scotland met 35% of its electricity demand from renewable sources in 2011, well ahead of its 31% target.
As well as building on the 11,000 jobs that are currently supported in the green energy sector and investment that topped £2.3 billion a year, the region’s generating capacity is also on course to exceed demand by 35% in 2015 opening up a new export market.
“Creating more clean energy is essential for Scotland,” Salmond told the conference. “Expanding our renewable electricity capacity… will help deliver security of supply, not just in Scotland but at UK level.”
Ironically given Salmond’s drive to gain Scottish independence, his arguments underline the region’s importance to the rest of the UK inrealising its 2020 renewables target.
The new target has been welcomed by green groups including WWF Scotland, whose head of policy Dan Barlow commented:
“Scotland is already making good progress in realising [its] green energy potential and this commitment will help maintain confidence in the sector and support thousands of new jobs.”
Scotland on track for best renewables year yet (27-Sept)
Scottish Government gives go ahead for Stornoway wind farm (11-Sept)
Scottish Government awards £7.9 million to tidal and wave developers (6-Sept)
Scottish renewables industry delivers £2.8 billion investment (13-Aug)
Article source: http://www.energyefficiencynews.com/i/5505/