Scottish Renewables welcomes government’s ‘ambitious’ energy targets

renewables wind farmThe Scottish Government’s new draft Energy Strategy shows an “ambitious” vision for the country’s future energy system but ministers need to back it up with “clear actions”, according to industry body Scottish Renewables.

In the strategy, the government has set out a target that Scotland should source the equivalent of half of all the energy consumed in the country from renewables by 2030, as well as aspirations on the decarbonisation of transport, electricity and heat.

While the new targets have been welcomed, Lindsay Roberts, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said it is “imperative” that the government provides “clear action plans” to show how these changes can be achieved.

“That certainty – particularly in the heat sector, which faces significant challenges – would provide confidence in market opportunities and help stimulate the private sector investments required for the targets to be met,” she said.

Recently, the organisation submitted its response to the consultation on Scotland’s draft Energy Strategy, as well as its response to the government’s draft Onshore Wind Policy Statement.

Concerning Onshore Wind, the industry body said it promotes further onshore wind development as “central to achieving our climate change targets at the lowest cost”. It also highlighted key areas where the Scottish Government could affect cost reductions and further facilitate a route to market for the technology, particularly in relation to the planning regime.

Other key areas highlighted in the organisation’s response to the draft Energy Strategy include:

The Scottish Government maximising the use of the devolved policy levers it has available – such as planning, public procurement, building standards, business rates, innovation and project funding – to deliver the Strategy’s aims

The Energy Strategy to target the installation of more than double current levels of renewable energy capacity by 2030, describing this as “a low-regrets option

The introduction of further targets setting out the proportion of heat to be delivered from renewable and low-carbon sources

Support for a refresh of the Scottish Government’s existing transport strategy to maximise the electrification and decarbonisation of the transport system.

Ms Roberts said: “The creation of a 2030 50% ‘all-energy’ target was suggested by Scottish Renewables in our manifesto for last year’s Scottish Parliament election and is supported by all parties in the Scottish Parliament.

“Including that target in the final Energy Strategy would ensure that renewables can play a key role in meeting our climate change targets while maximising the jobs and investment that our sector can bring to Scotland.

“Our response to the consultation also calls for a renewed focus on the decarbonisation of heat and transport – which are crucial if we are to meet our climate change goals – as well as the need to maximise our green energy generation capacity to help deliver this.

“We now look forward to seeing more detail on how the strategy will be delivered in practice and working with the Scottish Government on our joint aims for the future of Scotland’s energy sector.”

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