Scotland ups the ante (again) on renewables commitment

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By: SGN Staff

Scotland has announced a revised interim goal in its plans for providing 100% of its energy needs with renewables by 2020: 50% by 2015. The country has already passed the government's 2011 interim goal of 31% renewables.

 

First Minister Alex Salmond, who has made the renewables quest a centerpiece of his party's government, was quoted as saying the revised goal is "ambitious, but also achievable." The new goal is part of the country's Renewables Routemap and is based on existing operating capacity or that is under construction or approved, according to coverage in Recharge News.

 

In announcing the revised goal at a recent conference, Salmond said the country is now producing 14 GWh of renewable energy, 35% of its total use.

 

Flies in the ointment?

While Scotland, blessed with the government's strong commitment, has been forging ahead with its renewables initiative, there is a possibility that the future could bring a bumpier ride. Britain and Scotland have been in what appears to be a heated competition to win the hearts and minds (and commitments) of wind turbine suppliers. But there are now fewer of them to target. Majors in the industry like Vestas and others have backed off on projects and Siemens has postponed a decision about building a factory in Britain until next year.

 

And there is at least some support for "local content rules," meaning that project developers would be required to use a certain amount of UK-supplied materials in their projects. Others say such a requirement is a bad fit for the region and that more conditions would hamper projects and would more than likely be unenforceable, according to additional Recharge News coverage.

 

Either way, those two issues could make Scotland's renewables initiative a more interesting story to watch, not to mention learn from.

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