Scotland has announced ambitious new targets to cut carbon emissions from its electricity generation, as well as a new partnership to further boost its leading offshore wind sector.
First Minister Alex Salmond unveiled Scotland’s new emission reduction target of 50 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour (kWh) by 2030, at the Scottish Renewables-Scottish Enterprise Offshore Wind & Supply Chain Conference in Aberdeen.
In 2010, Scotland’s emissions from electricity grid activity totaled around 347 grams of carbon dioxide per kWh.
The target is included in Scotland’s revised Offshore Wind Route Map which was launched, as well as in the Scottish Government’s draft second report on proposals and polices to meet overall emissions targets.
Alex Salmond also announced the signing of new Memorandums of Understanding between Highland & Islands Enterprise (HIE) and four local ports that will drive the development of the offshore wind sector by attracting a potential £100 million of investment to the Highlands. He said: “We face a global imperative to tackle climate change and how we power our economies is a key part of that. Offshore wind has a strong, vibrant future, with plans to install up to 10 gigawatts of capacity in Scottish waters over the next decade. More sites are being scoped for deployment in the 2020s – alongside commercial wave and tidal generation – as grid and interconnection upgrades and storage are further developed.
“However, UK coalition ministers’ mixed messages on energy policy and continuing uncertainty around Electricity Market Reform, including the lack of a decarbonization target until at least 2016, is undermining confidence and threatening investment by the supply chain. Having stated our ambition for a largely-decarbonized electricity supply by 2030, the Scottish Government is now setting a specific target to guide our overall policy approach and set the context for decisions on applications for electricity generation. We will now consult with stakeholders on the implementation of this ambitious target. I join the industry, again, in urging Westminster to follow suit.
“With an unrivaled wind, wave and tidal resource, huge carbon storage capacity off our coast and world-class offshore engineering and innovation expertise, Scotland continues to provide the best natural and economic environment for low carbon energy investment. We will also continue to urge the UK Government to ensure its industrial strategy for offshore wind gives the right level of support to the supply chain about further deployment plans as costs reduce and offshore wind becomes increasingly competitive as a source of low carbon electricity.”
At the end of 2012’s third quarter, Scotland had installed 5,685 megawatts of renewables electricity capacity, which is an increase of 22.4% over the year from the same period in 2011.
Luc Bas, Director of European Programs and International States and Regions, The Climate Group said: “The new target reflects Scotland’s booming market for offshore wind beyond 2020. Once more Scotland and it’s Government leader Alex Salmond show that setting ambitious targets is key for investors. By constantly adjusting these targets upwards, Scotland’s low carbon economy is properly taking off and creating a Clean revolution in Scotland, regardless of lagging UK national action. The Climate Group is proud to work with Scotland in ourStates and Regions Alliance.”
Read Scotland’s revised Offshore Wind Route Map.