Scotland set to miss Salmond’s target of 100% renewable electricity generation by 2020

windA new report published today (11 Nov 2015) shows that Scotland will miss its 100% renewable electricity target without further investment in onshore and offshore wind.

The 100% renewable target by 2020 was set in 2011 by Scotland’s former First Minister Alex Salmond. The 2020 target is not legally binding and therefore there are no penalties for missing it.

The study by Scottish Renewables shows Scotland is on course to generate the equivalent of 87% of its annual demand for power from renewables by 2020. It also emphasis the need for further support from the UK Government if the target is to be met.

The renewable energy sector in Scotland now employs some 21,000 people, generates around £1 billion pounds of capital investment each year, and has displaced carbon emissions equivalent to the entire transport sector

An SR spokesman said: “Scotland has come a long way in a short space of time, with supportive policies at Westminster and Holyrood delivering an incredible transformation in our electricity industry. 

“The 100% target has provided a powerful focus for government and industry and has really put Scotland’s renewable energy industry on the map. 

“However, current projections show that we’re not going to meet it unless we get more projects going ahead between now and 2020.”

Fergus Ewing, Scottish Energy Minister at Power Scotland Conference 2014Commenting on the 100% renewable electricity target, Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing (pictured, left) said: “Recent announcements by the UK Government represent an attack on the renewables sector, creating huge uncertainty for investors, developers and communities, and undermining Scotland’s ability to fulfil its renewable energy potential.

“Our renewables targets are ambitious and challenging and I am pleased we have seen almost half of our electricity demand coming from renewable sources in 2014.

“However, I share Scottish Renewables’ concerns that the damaging and premature cuts to support for renewable energy being driven through by the UK Government will hamper future progress.”

The SR spokesman said that there are consented schemes onshore and offshore, but they can only go ahead if they are allocated a long term contract for their power. He added:

 “The industry had expected an auction round for contracts this autumn, but UK ministers postponed that, and we are still unsure if and when that will go ahead which is inevitably impacting on investor confidence across the industry.

“If we don’t start the process by next spring, the delay could fatally undermine the timeline for the projects on Scotland’s main island groups, ending prospects for major developments on the Western Isles and Shetland.  It would also raise serious questions about whether the proposed offshore wind projects can make the 2020 deadline.

 “If we get an allocation round next spring and enough Scottish projects are successful we can still hit the target.”

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