Scotland’s ambitious renewable energy targets are achievable, according to a new report.
The Electricity Generation Policy Statement (EGPS) sets out the Scottish Government’s plans for renewable energy and fossil fuel thermal generation, fitted with carbon capture and storage (CCS) schemes, in the country’s future energy mix.
It says electricity needs can be met without the need for new nuclear power stations.
The report states that low carbon energy policies will not only benefit the environment and create jobs, but also lead to lower household bills.
SNP ministers have set targets for the country to meet 30% of its energy demand and 100% of electricity by wind, wave and tidal power by 2020.
Holyrood’s economy, energy and tourism committee have doubts, however, and have launched an inquiry.
Convener Murdo Fraser, a Conservative MSP, said: “There are many experts who believe that the targets are not achievable within the timetable proposed and there would be substantial costs going down this road at this speed.”
Labour’s Westminster energy spokesman Tom Greatrex said the report highlighted the benefit to Scotland of remaining part of an integrated market where resources, risk and reward are shared.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “We know our target is technically achievable because Scotland already leads the world in renewable energy, and we have the natural resources and expertise to achieve more. The prize at stake for Scotland is huge, in terms of jobs, economic opportunities and lower electricity bills for all – I am determined to win that prize.”
Alison Kay, commercial director for National Grid, said: “This statement sets out a clear vision for the future of energy in Scotland.”
The UK Government will reveal in September whether the north-east has won a share of a £1billion fund to develop a carbon capture and storage (CCS) scheme at Peterhead’s gas-fired power station.
UK Energy Minister Ed Davey is in favour of the proposal but has warned that Scotland and England are mutually dependent to drive forward the renewable energy revolution.