Scotland’s First Minister has announced that the new Scottish Government’s 2020 renewable electricity target has been raised to 100 per cent. Originally, the 2020 benchmark was set at 80%.
The SNP leader Alex Salmond was voted into the FM role again by his party today, after the SNP romped to a majority in the Scottish elections earlier this month.
In a video message to the All-Energy conference in Aberdeen today, Mr Salmond told the audience: “Because the pace of development has been so rapid, with our 2011 target already exceeded, we can now commit to generating the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s own electricity demand from renewable resources by 2020.
“By then we intend to be generating twice as much electricity as Scotland needs – just over half of it from renewables, and just under half from other conventional sources. We will be exporting as much electricity as we consume.”
He pointed to the offshore wind, new carbon capture and storage projects and a burgeoning research and development sector as evidence of Scotland’s commitment to renewables.
The Government’s target was “entirely credible” according to Ignacio Galán, chief executive of ScottishPower Renewables’ parent company Iberdrola. When the figure was first mooted at the end of April, he said: “Scotland is at the forefront of the renewable revolution. With fair charging and the correct political will it is entirely credible to see Scotland producing 100% of its own electricity requirements from renewables by 2020 as well as continuing to produce power from a range of other sources.”
Scottish & Southern Energy, one of the biggest energy providers in Scotland, have also supported the country’s renewable ambitions.
The firm’s CEO, Ian Marchant has said in the past: “The primary challenge for all MSPs in the Parliament, will be to ensure that the policy framework leads to positive action: attracting the investment that will be necessary and delivering the jobs and skills for the future.”