November 27, 2007

Renewable energy: Scottish govt raises targets

The Scottish Government today announced increased targets for the amount of electricity that comes from green sources.

Ministers want 31% of Scotland’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2011.

And they have set a target of 50% of all electricity from renewables by 2020.

That compares with the previous aim of having 40% of electricity generated from such sources by 2020.

The new target also takes into account transmission losses between the source of electricity and consumption, which can be about 12%.

Energy minister Jim Mather said the ambitious target would encourage the development of new technology in the energy sector.

Speaking ahead of meetings in Brussels to update the European Union on Scotland’s energy objectives, Mr Mather said: “In setting this ambitious 50% target, the Scottish Government is encouraging the development of low carbon technologies such as renewable energy, micro-generation, combined heat and power, carbon capture and storage while pursuing greater energy efficiency savings.”

He added: “Scotland is already a world leader in the energy and engineering sectors and is known for its innovation and talent.

“Harnessing this talent to generate more renewable energy will give us a vibrant energy sector that makes a significant contribution to Scotland’s future prosperity and help build increased, sustainable economic growth.”

Mr Mather also insisted the absence of new nuclear power stations would not cause an energy gap in a Scotland, saying the county had the “natural resources and ingenuity to become a non-nuclear energy exporter”.

And he argued: “We believe that the risks and uncertainties of nuclear power, in terms of waste disposal, decommissioning, security and health concerns, or cost, are far too great.”

But he also said the Scottish Government did not support renewable energy “anywhere or at any price to the environment”.

The minister said local authorities had been asked to prepare guidance on where on-shore wind farms should be sited and that work to identify locations for marine energy was beginning too.

The Herald

27 November 2007

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