Friends of the Earth Scotland responded to today’s speech (2 June) in the Scottish Parliament by Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism.

Stan Blackley, Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“Mr Ewing is right to point out that Scotland’s renewable electricity generation can grow to comfortably exceed our electricity needs. The Scottish Government’s target of 100% renewables by 2020 is completely achievable. In fact, independent research has shown that renewables could provide 185% of Scotland’s electricity needs by 2030, providing significant export revenue and creating thousands of jobs in the process.

“The Scottish Government must focus not only on the transition to renewables, but also on immediate energy demand reduction and energy efficiency measures, both of which are quicker and cheaper to implement than new renewables and will make the transition to 100% renewables faster and easier to achieve.

“Comparing the current potential for renewable energy generation in Scotland to the US petroleum boom of the 19th Century, which saw the establishment of huge polluters like Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Amoco and Conoco fails to acknowledge the dispersed nature of renewable development or to learn lessons from the failures of the big business model.

“Scotland’s renewable future should be built around community engagement and involvement, with sensitively planned and appropriately sited developments benefiting local people, not major multinationals. We hope that the Minister will not allow or oversee a big business free-for-all, such as took place in the the US in the 19th Century.”

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact:

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

Notes to Editors

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