The World Wildlife Fund is applauding the Scottish government’s commitment to having 50 percent of its electricity demand met by green power by 2015.
The government’s adoption of the new interim target was announced at the RenewableUK conference in Glasgow.
First Minister Alex Salmond told conference attendees that a refreshed Renewables Routemap aims to see 50 per cent of Scotland’s electricity demand met from green power by 2015 - a new, achievable target based on the sector’s rapid progress.
The new target comes after DECC statistics showed that Scotland met 35 per cent of its electricity demand from renewables in 2011 - beating the previous interim target of 31 per cent by the end of 2011.
“I believe creating more clean energy is essential for Scotland and this target provides three benefits in particular – energy security; environmental sustainability; and employment opportunities,” Salmond said.
He added, “Expanding our renewable electricity capacity in Scotland will help deliver security of supply, not just in Scotland but at UK level. Ofgem predicted earlier this month that by 2015 the UK’s electricity generation might exceed peak demand by only 4 per cent. That’s a steep decline from today’s 14 per cent, and even that 4 per cent margin is only achieved by ending electricity exports to Ireland.”
Salmond also told delegates that Scotland’s renewables success story presented the country with a “massive economic opportunity” and that the new target would help build on the current 11,000 jobs in green energy following a bumper year for investment that has seen projects totalling £2.3 billion committed to Scotland – more than any other part of the UK.
Afterwards, Dr. Dan Barlow, head of policy at WWF Scotland, said, “The introduction of a new interim renewable target is welcome and will help maintain momentum towards our 100 per cent renewable goal.
“Scotland is already making good progress in realising our green energy potential and this commitment will help maintain confidence in the sector and support thousands of new jobs,” Barlow continued. “Scotland is already meeting a third of its electricity demand from renewables, with the first half of 2012 up on the same period last year.
“It's vital we build on this progress with similar ambition aimed at improving energy efficiency in our homes and tackling emissions from transport in order to deliver a truly low carbon Scotland," he said.