Welcoming today’s announcement by the Scottish Government that Scotland’s target for renewable electricity generation is to be raised to 80% of Scottish demand by 2020, Friends of the Earth Scotland said Scotland could do even better.

As the Scottish Parliament prepares to debate what a Low Carbon Economy can look like, and Scottish Renewables announce research showing that even at the most conservative estimates Scotland can reach 80% of our electricity coming from renewables by 2020, Friends of the Earth Scotland issue a challenge to the Government to show their full commitment to a low carbon Scotland.

Duncan McLaren, Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland said: “Scotland can be a renewables powerhouse for Europe. The old target is no longer driving increased ambition, but instead is creating uncertainty in the industry. An 80% target would be a big improvement, but Scotland can and should commit to producing more than 100% of our domestic electricity from renewables by 2020.

“Facing the triple challenge of climate change, peak oil and economic recession, Scotland cannot afford low ambition, and must aim not only to deliver high levels of renewable electricity generation, but also to cut demand for electricity through improved efficiency.

Earlier today (23 September) Scottish Renewables, the industry body, released research suggesting Scotland could deliver renewable electricity equivalent to between 81% and 123% of demand by 2020. Achieving the higher levels is critically dependent on Government action using its powers to reduce energy demand and improve efficiency. Similar research by independent energy analysts Garrad Hassan for Friends of the Earth Scotland and others (in press) shows that with only moderate additional effort on both renewables development and demand reduction the country could be generating more electricity from renewable sources than it consumes in total, with a surplus for export.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:

Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

The research for Scottish Renewables suggests that with moderate demand management (1% per year reduction), and an elevated build rate for renewables, Scotland could generate 123% of its domestic electricity demand from renewables by 2020. Garrad Hassan’s work for the environmental groups – with similar assumptions – finds that even if renewable development drops below current rates of new installation, but demand is reduced by just 1% a year, renewable generation exceeds 96% of Scottish demand by 2020.

Friends of the Earth Scotland exists to help people in Scotland look after the planet for everyone’s future. We think globally and act locally in Scotland, delivering solutions to climate change by enabling and empowering people to take both individual and collective action. We offer help to people with the big things in life – helping to sustain a healthy society and environment. We believe that all of our children’s futures will be better because of what we do. www.foe-scotland.org.uk