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Scotland hits key renewable energy targets

Scotland hits key renewable energy targets

Scotland hits key renewable energy targets

Scotland has surpassed its key renewable energy targets, official figures published by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change have revealed.

In 2015, 57.7 per cent of Scottish electricity consumption came from renewables, 7.7 per cent ahead of the 50 per cent target.

This target is part of the nation's ambitious aim to tackle climate change and reduce emissions by 61 per cent against 1990 levels by 2030.

A report by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) recommends this target for Scotland, in order to meet the requirements of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act. Under the act, the nation has already committed to reducing emissions by at least three per cent a year from 2020 - a target which goes beyond the current UK ambition for that period.

In a statement, Lord Deben, chairman of the CCC, said: "Scotland is leading the UK in its ambitious approach to tackling climate change and is to be commended for doing so. There is a lot of positive action already underway in Scotland, driven by both its vibrant renewable sector and its bold policy approaches. This must now be accelerated."

By 2013, Scotland had reduced its emissions by 38 per cent compared to 1990 levels, and the country is currently on track to exceed its 2020 target to reduce emissions by 42 per cent.

The CCC is now advising the Scottish government to focus on decarbonising electricity from 220g CO2/kWh currently to below the legislated target of 50g CO2/kWh. In addition, the committee has recommended that the government aim to have low-carbon heat systems deployed in around 30 per cent of homes and ensure sales of low-emission vehicles such as electric cars make up around two-thirds of new car and van sales by 2030.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has welcomed these figures, and has pledged to bring forward plans to go further if re-elected in May.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: "The SNP have long championed green energy and these new figures show the huge progress we have made - but we are determined to go even further.

"As we set out in Parliament earlier this month, the SNP is developing an ambitious and long-term Scottish energy strategy which, if re-elected, we will implement over the next parliament and beyond."

According to the CCC, Scotland's targets are ambitious but achievable, but it is urging the government to consider new policies in order to continue to meet the goals and cement Scotland's position as an example to the rest of the UK on how to tackle climate change.

 

Posted by William Rodriguez