Scotland Steams Ahead in Renewable Energy Pledge

Published: Fri 24 Jan 2014
A blog entry by Chris Taylor

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With 2050 carbon emission targets pressing ever closer, UK Government figures show that confident strides are being taken in the Scottish renewable energy sector.

Though many people are still using fossil fuels to generate energy, the latest statistics show that Scotland is already generating the equivalent of 40 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy.

Scotland’s situation of course, is quite remarkable, as it has pledged to use 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020, and will be the first country in the world to do so if it succeeds.

The statistics, published by Scottish Renewables, also show that the Scottish renewable industry is also employing over 11,000 people throughout the country, showing promising longevity for the sector as a whole.

In addition to this, research has also shown that tidal energy at Pentland Firth could actually provide enough energy to power half of Scotland.

Engineers from Edinburgh and Oxford Universities said that the stretch of water could generate 1.9GW (gigawatts) of clean energy, which is the equivalent to 43 per cent of Scotland’s energy consumption.

Professor Guy Houlsby of the department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford said:

“The UK enjoys potentially some of the best tidal resources worldwide, and if we exploit them wisely they could make an important contribution to our energy supply.

"These studies should move us closer towards the successful exploitation of the tides."

Discussing the same subject, Lang Banks, the director of environmental group, WWF Scotland, said:

“The sooner we can start to deploy devices in the water the greater the chance Scotland will have at becoming a world leader in developing the technologies to turn tidal power into clean, green electricity.

"Marine renewables, such as tidal power, will have a critical role to play in meeting the Scottish government's commitment to decarbonise our power supply by 2030.

"With careful planning we can harness Scotland's tidal energy to help cut our climate emissions while safeguarding the nation's tremendous marine environment."

Earlier in the month, the EU also agreed to cut carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels, which represents the most stringent climate change target of any region in the world.

Additionally, 27 per cent of its energy will also be produced from renewable sources by the same date.

Ed Davey, the UK’s energy and climate change secretary is said to bitterly oppose the target, but found himself to be overruled by Germany, France and Italy.

For those looking to reduce their carbon emissions at home, Rix Oil has published an energy saving infographic to help people reduce their emissions and bills.