Commenting on a Institute of Mechanical Engineers report referred to during First Ministers questions today (3 November 2011), Francis Stuart, Friends of the Earth Scotland Policy Officer, said:

“This report jumps to ill-founded conclusions on the achievability of Scotland’s renewable targets and how this is linked to fuel poverty. Contrary to this report, the Scottish Government’s target of 100% renewables by 2020 is completely achievable.”

“Research by the worlds leading renewable energy consultants, Garrad Hassan, has shown that renewables could provide 185% of Scotland’s electricity needs by 2030, surpassing 100% by 2020, and providing significant export revenue and creating thousands of jobs in the process.”

The report ‘Power of Scotland Secured’ shows that with only the grid development economically sensible to export our surplus renewables, Scotland would be part of a fully secure and backed up European energy system.

Stuart continued: “It isn’t renewable targets but the rocketing price of gas that is to blame for recent price hikes. The ‘big six’ are making millions rigging the energy market in favour of themselves and continued investment in fossil fuels.

Renewables are the only genuinely sustainable solution to our energy problems. It seems the Institute of Mechanical Engineers would like to see increased investment for fossil fuels and nuclear at their expense, leading us down a highly expensive, environmentally unsustainable future.”

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact: Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
 t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

1. The Power of Scotland Secured, published by Friends of the Earth with backing from RSPB and WWF, sets out how Scotland could guarantee security of supply, while decarbonising half its total energy needs by 2030. It makes clear how, through Improved grid interconnection, energy efficiency and deferrable demand, there is not a need for thermal ‘back-up’ of Scotland’s renewables.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk/power-secured

2. In 2000, across the UK, we were net exporters of gas, now we are importing 35% of the gas we need. The Government estimates that by 2025 we will be importing 65% of our gas. Average gas bills increased in real terms by 78% – peaking at 91% above 2000 levels in the year 2009. The Dirty Half Dozen, Friends of the Earth report about the ‘big six’ energy companies:
www.foe.co.uk/resource/reports/dirty_half_dozen.pdf

2. Friends of the Earth Scotland is * Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation * An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland * Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups – covering every continent.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk