Renewables industry representatives, academic experts, government officials and NGOs will gather today (28 February) to debate how Scotland can meet more than our own energy demands from renewables by 2030.

Friends of the Earth Scotland, together with Scottish Power, are hosting the event to discuss the findings of the report ‘Power of Scotland Secured’ which was jointly published by Friends of the Earth Scotland, WWF Scotland and RSPB Scotland late last year.

The report found that Scotland could phase out all fossil fuel and nuclear power by 2030, maintain a secure electricity supply and generate significant revenue from renewable exports.

It also shows that, contrary to popular myth, the variability of renewable power need not threaten the security of supply in Scotland, even in the context of a full phase out of conventional thermal power.

In fact, the transmission infrastructure required to keep the lights on at times of low renewables output will be easily justified by the value of exports which it will make possible at times of high output.

Moreover, if home heating and transport are electrified in line with the recommendations in this analysis, and modest demand management achieved, a 100% renewable grid system in Scotland could make overall household ‘triple fuel’ bills lower than in conventional scenarios.

This is in stark contrast to the interpretation made today in the Times newspaper, which suggests that UK energy consumers are propping up Scotland’s renewable industry.

Juliet Swann, Head of Campaigns at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“As we’ve seen in recent weeks the cost of fossil fuels are increasing dramatically. This isn’t going to change, so common sense dictates that renewables are the cheapest and most sustainable energy choice for the long term.”

The discussion event will debate the findings of the report, and discuss how the Westminster Government’s proposals for Electricity Market Reform, including reform of the subsidy system might affect Scotland’s renewable potential.

Ms Swann added:

“We are looking forward to a lively debate around the economic benefits of a clean, green energy system in Scotland, and how that will help Scotland lead the way both in the renewables revolution and in tackling climate change.

“It is frustrating that many commentators seem to be prioritizing business as usual, when we are all still struggling with the impacts of that economic model. It would be nice to think we can incentivise a move to a more sustainable future, both economically and environmentally.

“Hopefully today’s debate will help tease out some of the barriers to that transformation, and Friends of the Earth Scotland look forward to publishing the results.”

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact:

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

Notes to Editors

The findings of today’s session will be published on the FoES website in the near future

The Times: Green energy push to cost thousands of Scottish jobs www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/scotland/article2928316.ece

The Power of Scotland Secured – research showing how Scotland could phase out all fossil fuel and nuclear power by 2030, maintain a secure electricity supply and generate significant revenue from renewable exports. www.foe-scotland.org.uk/power-secured

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