The next Scottish Government would be wise to spark investment into the renewables sector, as a new YouGov survey reveals overwhelming public support for the continued development of clean energy over fossil fuels and nuclear. With the Scottish public heading to the polls on 5 May, a survey of more than 1,000 respondents were polled by Scottish Renewables. The results revealed that 70% want more renewable sources such as wind, solar, wave and tidal to be supplemented with a strong policy environment. Scottish Renewables chief executive Niall Stuart said: “The poll suggests that the people of Scotland continue to be strongly behind the growth of renewable energy, with support for the sector way ahead of any other. Just months after the Paris climate change agreement, the poll also shows clear support for Scotland’s next government to prioritise policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
Edie 2nd March 2016 read more »
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Scotsman 2nd Mar 2016 read more »
Scotland still needs a huge “acceleration” of investment in and adoption of renewable energy to help it to hit climate change targets by 2030, according to environmentalists. Sam Gardner, head of policy at WWF Scotland, told delegates at the Scottish Renewables annual conference in Edinburgh yesterday that about 45 per cent of energy needs would have to come from renewable sources by 2030. At present it is 13 per cent and Mr Gardner said that a “business as usual” approach to investment and projects would enable that to reach only about 30 per cent by 2030. He said: “Huge acceleration is needed to hit the targets. It needs direction, vision, leadership and support.” He added that the Holyrood elections provided an opportunity for political parties to lay out a clearer path for Scotland to meet its carbon reduction and renewable generation targets. Mr Gardner said that WWF Scotland was eager to find ways to reduce the risk and cost of district heating schemes, which can distribute heat to homes from a central source and could help to minimise the need for imported electricity. This year Scottish Renewables called for a target to produce at least 50 per cent of all energy use in Scotland from renewable sources by 2030. Barbara Vest, the director of generation at Energy UK, said that a mix of technologies would be needed to meet future demands. However, she said that demand for electricity was not likely to rise as sharply as expected because of the proliferation of locally generating technologies, such as wind turbines and solar panels. “That hockey stick [upturn] will not happen in the short term,” she said.
Times 2nd March 2016 read more »
Electricity supply across England, Wales and Scotland has long been a single regulated market controlled from Westminster. Even in its independence manifesto in 2014, the SNP argued that, were Scotland to become a sovereign state, “the current market trading arrangements for electricity and gas will continue, with the aim of maintaining a competitive market for energy throughout these islands”. Yet long before that continuity p ledge was made, the devolved Scottish government was actively developing grandiose plans for energy domination in the UK. By 2020, Scotland, spurred by its endowment of wind, wave and tidal resources, would be generating twice as much electricity as it needed, at least half of it from renewable sources. Whatever surplus electricity Scotland generated, it would export, at a handsome profit, to England and the wider European Union. We would become, Alex Salmond claimed, “the Saudi Arabia of renewables”. That claim conveniently air-brushed the bigger reality that electricity accounts for only about a fifth of Scotland’s total energy consumption. Another three fifths goes on space heating and the final fifth on transport, both dominated by burning hydrocarbons. The one generator likely to exceed the targets is nuclear, with Scotland’s two remaining stations granted life extensions until 2023 and 2030, respectively. The SNP has been hostile to civil nuclear power, but, with the coal-fired Longannet station no longer a player, it has learnt to accept even small nuclear mercies. Otherwise, far from exporting vast quantities of electricity to England and beyond, without nuclear Scotland would be importing more and more to keep the lights on. Alf Young is a visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde.
Times 2nd Mar 2016 read more »