The draft of Scotland’s new Climate Change Plan was published last week. It outlined lofty aims for greater cuts in greenhouse gas emissions – 66 per cent by 2032 – and how this can be achieved. The plan has received a broadly positive response, though there have been calls for more far-reaching action in some areas. Today will see the unveiling of our first ever Energy Strategy, which will set out the long-term vision for the power sector and is aligned to the new climate goals. It will bring together the Scottish Government’s plans across all areas of energy – electricity, heat and transport – for the first time. We’ll find out what exactly is in it this afternoon, but it is expected to focus on three main themes. How to ensure the country has secure and affordable energy supplies in the future while decarbonising the sector; creating an integrated system, taking in heat, transport and power production; and promoting local community involvement and ownership of generation schemes. It will also take into consideration shifts in UK government policy, new powers being devolved to Holyrood, emerging innovations and of course Scotland’s new climate targets. We’ve been doing pretty well on greening up electricity generation, with renewables providing 57.7 per cent of demand in 2015. However, electricity is only responsible for 21 per cent of our total energy needs. Heat accounts for more than half – 54 per cent – and transport 25 per cent. The most recent figures show only 13 per cent of our total final energy consumption came from renewables in 2013. The proportion of energy for heat and transport derived from renewables is a paltry three and four per cent respectively. The new Energy Strategy offers a huge opportunity to benefit not only the environment by cutting emissions but also to improve health and quality of life for Scots through reduced air pollution, more jobs and combatting fuel poverty. Hot on the heels of the new Energy Strategy we’re expecting the launch of a public consultation on unconventional oil and gas, including fracking for shale gas and extraction of coalbed methane. A moratorium has been in place for the past two years while evidence was gathered. The reports are in and the country will now get a chance to have their say. So it’s fair to say there will be a lot of eyes on energy minister Paul Wheelhouse when he takes the floor at Holyrood this afternoon.
Scotsman 24th Jan 2017 read more »
SCOTLAND’S first comprehensive energy policy should set out a “bold vision” for the future to put the country on course to produce all our energy from renewable sources, without fracking or new nuclear power, according to a leading environmentalist. Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland (FoES), was speaking as the Scottish Government prepared to publish its new energy strategy. The framework includes ambitious targets for renewables and reducing emissions. “We are already doing very well on electricity but we must build on this and also transform energy use in transport and heating, getting away from climate-wrecking fossil fuels as soon as we can,” Dixon said. “New nuclear power and fracking must have no place in Scotland’s energy future. Scotland is blessed with clean energy resources and we need to harness the huge energies in the wind, waves and sun to build a modern low-carbon economy the equal of any in the world. “We also need to make sure that communities have a major share of the benefits that come from their renewable energy resources. “The strategy should show how the Government plans to support workers employed in fossil fuels to transition fairly to jobs in the clean energy economy, if they so wish.” Another environmental group, WWF Scotland, said several key areas should feature in the strategy, including a renewable target of 50 per cent by 2030, greater action to reduce the carbon impact of Scotland’s heating needs, and further measures to tackle the impact of our cold and leaky housing stock on emissions and fuel poverty. Gina Hanrahan, the group’s senior climate and energy policy officer, said: “Research shows clearly that a target of generating 50 per cent of all of Scotland’s energy fr om renewables by 2030 is necessary and achievable. The union GMB Scotland said the policy should be balanced to support “a just transition” towards a low-carbon economy However, it does see a place for Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse to include new nuclear and shale gas sources. The union said the Hunterston B and Torness nuclear power stations contributed around 33 per cent of our electricity generation and with 78 per cent of our households requiring gas for heating, our domestic energy requirements could not be met by renewables alone. GMB argued that the low-carbon transition must be a just process that supported working-class communities, industries and jobs. Gary Smith, the union’s Scotland secretary, said: “Serious consideration should be given to a new nuclear station to replace Hunterston B – which has recently received its second lifespan extension – and Torness, which are scheduled for decommissioning in 2023 and 2030 respectively.
The National 24th Jan 2017 read more »
Environmentalists have reiterated calls for half of Scotland’s energy needs to be met by renewables by 2030 as the government prepares to publish a new draft energy strategy. Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse is due to make a parliamentary statement setting out policies and proposals for the power, transport and electricity sectors. Last week, the Scottish Government published a draft climate change plan which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 66% by 2032. Scotland exceeded an interim target of delivering a 42% emissions reduction in 2014 – six years early. WWF Scotland highlighted that only 13% of Scotland’s total final energy consumption came from renewable sources in 2013. Senior climate and energy policy officer Gina Hanrahan said: “Research shows clearly that a target of generating 50% of all of Scotland’s energy from renewables by 2030 is necessary and achievable.
Energy Voice 24th Jan 2017 read more »
Members of Scotland’s Future Energy Taskforce have today released their recommendations ahead of the publication of the Scottish Government’s much anticipated ‘Energy Strategy’ later this week. Brought together by WWF Scotland to inform the Scottish Government’s new energy strategy, the Taskforce is an independent panel of energy experts from industry and academia. The Taskforce is calling for a bold vision to decarbonise Scotland’s energy system and hit climate change targets, and says that the Scottish Government will need to use all the powers at its disposal, including targets, incentives and regulation to bring about the changes required. Among the recommendations is a call for energy use for space heating in buildings to be significantly reduced thanks to strong regulation “which ensures that all new buildings are built to zero carbon standards, underpins incentives for energy efficiency investment in existing buildings, and is driving a long-term investment programme in low carbon heating solutions”.
Scottish Construction Now 23rd Jan 2017 read more »