As political parties publish their manifestos for May’s Scottish Parliament election, the way we generate our energy once again proves to be one of society’s key issues. Driven by the certainty that climate change is already starting to affect us all, we’ve begun to make real progress in reducing the amount of carbon emitted into our atmosphere. That process must accelerate. Critics have said reshaping the way we produce and use energy will cost money – and in the short term, it will. But as Scotland has already shown, doing so now can bring huge economic, social and environmental advantages. That’s why in January, with exactly four months until the nation goes to the polls, Scottish Renewables published a manifesto which called for a new 2030 energy target. We believe that by 2030 half of all the energy consumed in Scotland – for power, heat and transport – can and should come from renewable sources. Targets provide a hugely powerful focus for government and industry, and helped create the green energy industry we have today. Although it seems likely that we’ll fall just short of our 2020 renewables target, the benefits it’s brought have been enormous – not least 21,000 green energy jobs. Meeting Scottish Renewables’ new 2030 goal would require a tripling of green energy from 2014 – achievable given that latest figures show we will be more than halfway there by 2020.
Scotsman 6th April 2016 read more »