The next Scottish government should set an ambitious new target of generating the equivalent of 50% of its total electricity, heat and transport demand from renewables by 2030, according to the renewable energy trade association in Scotland.
Meeting this new goal would require a threefold increase in green energy generation, with new figures showing Scotland on track to be more than halfway there by the end of this decade.
Scottish Renewables has called for the new target as part of its manifesto, Renewed Ambitions: Defining the Future of Renewable Energy, launched today ( 13 Jan 2016) ) ahead of Scottish Parliament elections on 7 May.
The document sets out how the organisation believes Scotland’s next Government can best support the continued growth of the sector and the economic and environment benefits it is already delivering.
The manifesto states: “Scotland’s ambitious climate change and 2020 renewable energy targets have signalled a clear intent for the country to lead the way in the transition to a low-carbon economy.
“Renewables now produce the equivalent of 15% of Scotland’s energy use across electricity, heat and transport.
“But with only four years to go, it is now time to look beyond 2020 and for Scotland to set a stretching target for renewables to produce the equivalent of at least 50% of all energy use across electricity, heat, and transport by 2030.
“That may seem ambitious but we will be more than halfway there by the end of this decade, and Sweden – the European leader – already sources half of all energy from renewables today.
“Achieving this new target will require strategic leadership from the next Scottish Government. The development of a comprehensive and joined-up energy strategy will allow the sector to maintain its competitiveness as well as spearheading the development and deployment of new technologies.
“Not only will these measures support growth in the next chapter of our industry, they will ensure that renewables can play a key role in meeting Scotland’s climate change targets, and maximise the jobs and investment that our sector can bring to Scotland.”
The manifesto also calls on the next Scottish Government to expand community and local ownership of renewable energy projects though the creation of a renewable energy bond which would allow savers across Scotland to invest in the growth of the renewables industry while also generating a return on their investment.