The Scottish government has done it again. The UK’s leading developer of renewable energy has today increased its green energy ambitions yet again, announcing a new target to supply at least 30 per cent of the country’s energy from renewable electricity, heat and transport by 2020.
Scottish energy, enterprise and tourism minister Fergus Ewing unveiled a new renewables routemap outlining the steps required to meet its already ambitious targets, including a goal of supplying 100% of electricity demand from renewables and 11 per cent of heat from renewables by 2020.
He also increased Scotland’s overall ambition by adopting a target of supplying 30 per cent of all energy from renewables by 2020, 10 per cent above the existing 20 per cent goal.
The new goal exceeds the EU’s 2020 renewable energy target of 20 per cent and will be double the UK’s agreed EU target of 15 per cent.
The roadmap also sets a new target to deliver 500MW of community and locally owned renewable energy by 2020, and outlines a commitment to develop strategies for microgeneration and agri-renewables.
In addition, Ewing announced plans to establish a Scottish Renewables Advisory Themed Group to provide expert advice from industry and other stakeholders on how to achieve Scotland’s full renewable energy potential. It will be co-chaired by the minister and Niall Stuart, chief executive of trade association Scottish Renewables.
“More than 40,000 jobs could be created in this rapidly expanding industry and some of the biggest names in energy have already chosen to expand their operations in Scotland, including Mitsubishi Power Systems, Gamesa and Dossan Babcock,” said Ewing.
“It is essential we continue to move quickly to develop the necessary infrastructure and skills required to attract more international investment and green energy jobs to our communities.”
In related news, AMEC and EDF Energy have refiled a planning application to build a 151MW wind farm to the west of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, in the Western Isles of Scotland.
The two companies today confirmed they have filed an application to the government, which, if successful, could create nearly 400 jobs in Scotland and almost 800 jobs overall.
A socio-economic assessment of the proposed wind farm estimates that £48m of materials and labour will be sourced within the Western Isles during the construction phase.
The companies said the specific wind turbine model has yet to be decided, although the 42 machines will have a hub height of no more than 90 metres and a tip height of no more than 143.5 metres.
The exact timeline for a decision could not be specified, but the developers expect a decision by the Scottish government in spring 2012.
The previous application was turned down because of concerns over the impact of the project on the Lewis Peatlands Special Protection Area.
However, the new Stornoway wind farm application covers a different area of land and does not directly intrude on protected areas, potentially increasing the likelihood of approval.