Scotland ‘doing what it needs to’ on renewables, says Robert Redford’s documentarian son

Director James Redford made a documentary film about US renewable energy in 2017.
Director James Redford made a documentary film about US renewable energy in 2017.

The documentary filmmaker son of Robert Redford has said Scotland is “doing what it needs to” in terms of renewable energy compared to the US market.

James Redford, director of 2017 documentary Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution, said that with US President Donald Trump’s current administration in power he sometimes “wonders” what it’s like to live in a country where renewable progress isn’t hindered by politics.

But Mr Redford said the US still has a chance to capitalise on its natural resources.

He said: “You guys are doing great things over there (in Scotland).

“I often wonder what it must be like to live in a country that is doing what it needs to on renewable energy.”

Mr Redford, who has tackled numerous societal concerns in his HBO documentaries, claims that the US can still “play catch up” in the green energy race.

Speaking to Energy Voice about the US renewables sector, he said: “I think there’s growing progress at state level.

“Minnesota, for example, is set to be 100% renewable by 2030 – but we need fresh faces in congress.

“They have to be given a mandate by voters to do something big and for the first time I’m starting to think it’s possible.

“I’ve been pretty disillusioned by Washington so far.”

Mr Redford say he believes the US is currently undergoing a “fundamental shift” in its thinking about renewable energy.

During the making of his 2017 documentary he encountered a “vast area of progress that no one was talking about”.

But he added that, with Mr Trump in the White House, he does worry if “America will get there in time”.

Mr Redford said: “Renewable energy needs to be embraced at the highest level, right now.

“Coal is dying out no matter how much the White House tries to resuscitate it.

“There’s so much change going on in terms of big tech across the industry and people buying into these ideas.

“We have to make a choice about the world we want to live in.”

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