The Scottish Government has brought forward the target date for achieving half of Scotland’s electricity demand to be generated by green power from 2020 to 2015. The new target comes after DECC statistics showed that Scotland met 35 per cent of its electricity demand from renewables in 2011 – beating the previous interim target of 31 per cent by the end of 2011.
“When I became First Minister in 2007, I inherited a target for 50 per cent of Scotland’s electricity to be produced by renewable sources by 2020. We now know that we can achieve much more than that, more quickly – having already exceeded our 2011 target,” explains First Minister Alex Salmond. “In the light of that progress, I can announce that we have set a new interim target – by 2015, the equivalent of 50 per cent of Scotland’s electricity demand will be met by renewable sources. This target is ambitious, but also achievable. It is based on current data about capacity which is operational, under construction, or has been consented.”
He adds: “I believe creating more clean energy is essential forScotlandand this target provides three benefits in particular – energy security; environmental sustainability; and employment opportunities.”
The new target will help build on the current 11,000 jobs in green energy following a bumper year for investment that has seen projects totalling £2.3 billion committed to Scotland – more than any other part of the UK. The Scottish Government estimates that offshore wind alone could support up to 28,000 direct jobs by 2020.