By DARA BUTTERFIELD
According to a new WWF Scotland report, conducted by international energy and engineering consultancy DNV GL, Scotland could be free of gas, coal or nuclear power stations by 2030.
The report found that “Scotland can maintain and even build on its position as a net power exporter” while meeting decarbonisation targets with an electricity system based on ‘proven renewables’.
Gina Hanrahan, Climate and Energy Policy Officer, WWF Scotland, said: “It’s clear that Scotland doesn’t have to generate electricity from coal, gas or nuclear to ensure security of supply.
“The report shows that not only is a renewable, fossil-fuel free electricity system perfectly feasible in Scotland by 2030, it’s actually the safe bet. Pursuing this pathway would allow Scotland to maintain and build on its position as the UK and Europe’s renewable powerhouse, cut climate emissions and continue to reap the jobs and investment opportunities offered by Scotland’s abundant renewable resources.
“We’ve seen renewables go from strength to strength in recent years. They are now the biggest electricity generator in Scotland, outstripping nuclear, coal and gas. We need to see the phasing out of conventional generation in Scotland, clarity about the future market for renewables across the UK and more emphasis on demand reduction and storage in Scotland so the vision can be achieved.”
Paul Gardner, Lead author of the report for DNV GL, commented: “Our technical analysis shows that a system with an extremely high proportion of renewable electricity generation located in Scotland can be secure and stable.
“There is no technical reason requiring conventional fossil and nuclear generation in Scotland.
“Scotland has plenty of renewables in the pipeline to cut the carbon from its power supply by 2030, particularly if we see progress on reducing electricity demand. And crucially, Scotland can continue to be an electricity exporting nation.”