Ministers have been warned that they must protect Scotland’s wild land when they push ahead with plans to almost double the number of wind farms. The Scottish government’s new energy strategy sets out proposals to establish almost 3,000 new wind farm projects at 192 sites. There are 3,335 turbines already operating on 285 sites. The SNP has already set a target for the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity needs to come from renewables by 2020, but it has now established a new target for 50 per cent of all the energy required for heat, electricity and transport in the country to come from renewables by 2030. The previous target was 30 per cent by 2020. Its new energy policy document stated: “In order for onshore wind to play its vital role in meeting Scotland’s energy need s, its contribution must continue to grow. This means that Scotland will continue to need more onshore wind development and capacity, in locations across our landscapes where it can be accommodated.” One of Scotland’s leading mountaineering groups said that while it supported the move to renewable energy, wind farms should be installed in the right places – not where they would damage the natural environment.
Times 22nd Dec 2017 read more »
Scotland promises 50 per cent clean energy by 2030 under first ever Energy Strategy.
Business Green 21st Dec 2017 read more »
Emma Pinchbeck is executive director of the trade body Renewable UK: The growth of wind and marine energy and other renewable sources has been remarkable. As energy analysts, we’ve struggled to find an analogy for the speed of this technological transition. We commonly cite the change from landlines to mobile phones but that example, while it captures the speed of change, doesn’t do justice to the industrial scale of the opportunity. In this period of economic uncertainty I would still bet the political and economic house on a global renewables transition. It was James Blyth, a Scottish inventor, who made the first prototype wind turbine in 1887, a century after the Scottish engineer James Watt built his steam engine to power the world. Scottish innovation and industry are once again leading an energy revolution. Projects such as the Moray East wind farm will use the next generation of super-powerful turbines at sea, capable of powe ring thousands of Scottish homes while Hywind, the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, is operating successfully in Scottish waters. In the Beatrice offshore wind farm project in the Moray Firth, 45 per cent of the expenditure is in the UK, contributing up to Â£530 million to the Scottish economy. This includes large-scale manufacturing, with companies building enormous subsea jackets for the turbines. The sector’s growing supply chain includes traditional manufacturing firms and oil and gas companies and their skilled staff, offering services and expertise that grew up around the previous North Sea energy revolution to this new one. Scotland is also a world leader in new renewables technologies, in particular tidal energy. Internationally-renowned research facilities such as the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney are pushing the boundaries. The Scottish government’s commitment to maximising the benefits of renewables was confirmed on Wednesday with the publication of its energy strategy. The goal is clear: half of all energy – heat, transport and electricity – will come from renewables by the end of the next decade. Change is upon us, and it will not be embraced by everyone, but there is no turning back to a dependence on fossil fuels. We are proud that Scottish businesses are choosing to lead the way in the transition, not just because renewable energy businesses are important for the Scottish economy or our future workforce, but because future generations – the families of that workforce – will benefit from clean, safe, and cheap energy which will help us to tackle climate change.
Times 22nd Dec 2017 read more »