SR Calls for 50% RE by 2030, Sets Out Recommendations for Next Scottish Government

Scottish Renewables is calling for a new target of generating the equivalent of 50% of Scotland's total electricity, heat and transport demand from renewables by 2030, as part of its manifesto launched today ahead of Scottish Parliament election scheduled for May 2016.

The document sets out steps Scotland’s next Government should take to maximise the economic and environmental benefits of renewable energy. Scottish Renewables believes the next government should renew the national renewable energy ambitions, increase competitiveness and promote innovation.

In its recommendations on offshore wind, Scottish Renewables says the next Scottish Government should undertake a comprehensive review of the offshore renewable consenting process to learn from and build on recent experience from both the UK and Scottish systems. It should also recognise commercial-scale offshore wind developments as critical national infrastructure in the transfer of the Crown Estate assets to Scottish Ministers, as well as retain Scottish involvement in offshore wind industry initiatives currently supported by the Crown Estate and ensure investment levels are maintained following the transfer of Crown Estate functions and assets.

"We also continue to await details of the budget for, and timing of, future allocation rounds for offshore wind and projects on the Scottish islands," the organization said.

The next government should support Scottish-based supply companies to compete with other parts of the UK and Europe when bidding for manufacturing, assembly and fabrication work, it was said in the manifesto. To increase the competitiveness in the offshore wind sector, Scottish Renewables recommends that the government should reinvigorate plans for enterprise zones for the offshore and marine renewables supply chain with incentives based on business rates, training and capital investment allowances or support.

"Scotland has punched above its weight in terms of innovation and R&D in areas such as floating offshore wind and marine energy, but we need a new level of focus if we are to accelerate the development of the latest forms of generation," Scottish Renewables said.

In terms of promoting innovation, the new government should support the development of new forms of renewable energy where Scotland has the potential to be a world leader, according to the manifesto.

When it comes to offshore wind, the government should continue and expand the Scottish Innovative Foundation Technologies Fund to support innovation in offshore wind turbine foundations, and work with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and Scottish Enterprise to maximise the opportunities for innovation support across the industry from existing test facilities. Furthermore, a national strategy should be developed to target EU funding to support floating offshore wind research and development in Scotland, Scottish Renewables said.

Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said: "Together, renewables now produce the equivalent of 15% of Scotland’s energy use across electricity, heat and transport.

Achieving this new target will require strategic leadership from the next Scottish Government. The development of a comprehensive and joined-up energy strategy will allow the sector to maintain its competitiveness as well as spearheading the development and deployment of new technologies.

Not only will these measures support growth in the next chapter of our industry, they will ensure that renewables can play a key role in meeting Scotland’s climate change targets, and maximise the jobs and investment that our sector can bring to Scotland.”

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