Speaking in Inverness, he said: “Renewable energy counts for over 20,000 jobs in Scotland – with many of these in the most remote areas, proving that renewables aren’t just good for the environment, but also for the economy.
“Giving communities control over their own energy will help us tackle supply security, increasing costs, and environmental impacts, and at the same time spark economic renewal. This is why the Scottish Government has provided around £40 million so communities get the support they need – through loans, capital funding or simply advice and support.
“Provisional figures for 2014 tell us just over 49% of our gross electricity consumption came from renewable generation – so we’re well ahead of schedule to achieve 50% by 2015.”
Among other topics debated during the session, chaired by Jeremy Sainsbury, OBE, were grid connections, particularly to the Scottish islands, climate change, and electricity market reform. One topic on which the conference was united was the need to create new targets for generating energy from 2020 to 2030, and the legislative and financial framework to allow these to be achieved.