Scotland: 100% renewable electricity by 2020

20 May 2011

BRUSSELS: Scotland, a member of The Climate Group, has raised its 2020 renewable electricity target from 80 to 100%. The Climate Group welcomes this ambitious decision, which was taken after the nation met its 31% interim target for 2011.

Alex Salmond, First Minister stated that he would like Scotland to become “the green powerhouse of Europe” and thinks the target is realistic. He says: "Because the pace of development has been so rapid, with our 2011 target already exceeded, we can now commit to generating the equivalent of 100% of Scotland's own electricity demand from renewable resources by 2020. By then we intend to be generating twice as much electricity as Scotland needs - just over half of it from renewables, and just under half from other conventional sources. We will be exporting as much electricity as we consume. So we will continue to work with industry and governments at local, UK and European level to build on what we have achieved. We will now move still further and faster to secure our place as the green energy powerhouse of the continent of Europe. Offshore wind will play a key role in achieving our ambitions."

Luc Bas, Director for European Programs, The Climate Group, said “According to the IPCC close to 80% of the world’s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century. Scotland’s announcement shows that strong targets can become more ambitious when the opportunity is recognized. By taking the initiative Scotland will create jobs, ensure sustainable growth and attract significant new investment. Hopefully the EU as a whole and other nations around the globe, will take note of this leading example and raise their ambitions accordingly.”    

With approximately 25% of Europe's offshore wind and tidal energy resource and 10% of its potential wave capacity, Scotland has secured lease agreements for offshore wind developments in Scottish waters. These have the potential to generate 10 GigaWatts (GW) of electricity by 2020 and similar agreements have been signed for six wave and five tidal projects, with a potential capacity to generate 1.6 GW.

In its last term, the Scottish Government permitted 42 renewable energy projects. In 2009, more than 25% of electricity demand came from renewables and there are around 7 GW of renewables capacity installed, under construction or permitted in Scotland, allowing the country to exceed its short-term target of 31% of electricity demand from renewables in 2011.

The Scottish government has ruled out building new nuclear plants.

Read more about our government member, Scotland.


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