Scotland has announced a series of ambitious climate change targets including an 80% decarbonisation goal for the electricity production.
The country already has ambitious renewable energy and emission reduction goals but the Scottish Government was required to stipulate how it would meet these through specific policies.
“Having stated our ambition for a largely decarbonised 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,” said First Minister Alex Salmond.
“We will now consult with stakeholders on the implementation of this ambitious target. I join the industry, again, in urging Westminster to follow suit.”
A UK decarbonisation target was removed from an early draft of a key new energy bill with a decision postponed to 2016.
Scotland will reduce the amount of CO2 per unit of power generated from the current level of 347g to 50g of CO2kWh.
This is the same level recommended to the UK government by its independent advisor the Climate Change Committee (CCC).
“Scotland is at the top of the European league table for emissions reductions, such as Germany and Denmark,” said Scotland’s Minister for Environment and Climate Change Paul Wheelhouse.
“Our commitment to tackling climate change and maintaining our position as a global leader is clear and underlined by the actions we have set out today. We are taking strong action on renewables, zero waste, peatlands and tackling fuel poverty with ambitious new plans to decarbonise production of electricity and heat,” added Wheelhouse.
Scotland is rich in renewable energy potential with large hydropower and onshore wind both well-established giving it a head start on its renewable energy goals.
Scottish Climate Change Policy at a Glance
New decarbonisation target to cut carbon emissions from electricity generation by more than four-fifths by 2030
Commitment to deliver the equivalent of at least 100% of gross electricity consumption from renewables by 2020
National Retrofit Programme to transform older and colder homes into energy efficient homes
A £50m Warm Homes Fund providing grants and loans for renewable energy measures to heat homes
New domestic Heat Strategy including publication of a Draft Outline Heat Vision which sets our ambition for a largely decarbonised heat sector by 2030
Measures to reduce the impact of transport through active travel, low carbon vehicles and congestion reduction with over £200 million investment on top of our on-going investment in public transport
Ambitious proposals to maximise emissions benefits of restoring degraded peatland
Increasing woodland creation rates to 10,000 hectares per year
Phased introduction of bans on materials that may be landfilled, including a ban on biodegradable waste to landfill be the end of 2020, the first of its kind in the UK
RTCC Video: Paul Wheelhouse on Scotland’s ambitious renewable energy targets