Scotland unveils action plan for renewables

The Scottish executive has published a plan outlining how it hopes to stimulate renewable energy in the country to make the most of its natural resources.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth John Swinney said that developing the right renewables infrastructure and boosting skills will help Scotland to meet its climate change targets while providing an economic benefit.

The Renewables Action Plan identifies collective actions by government, its agencies and partners, to ensure at least a fifth of Scotland’s energy comes from renewables by 2020.

The executive says the plan will:

  • Kickstart a renewable heat industry to massively increase take up;
  • Identify necessary infrastructure projects and options to deliver them;
  • Get the skills mix right to maximise potential and attract investment;
  • “Moving to a low carbon economy presents huge economic opportunities and our Climate Change Bill now commits us to action,” said Mr Swinney.

    “Offshore wind, marine energy and renewable heat will now be a key focus due to the potential to generate clean energy, reduce emissions and the associated manufacturing and infrastructure opportunities.

    “Scottish Enterprise and HIE will develop a clear framework for port and land infrastructure to support the manufacturing, construction, and operation of offshore wind, wave and tidal devices.

    “Heat from renewables needs to rise tenfold in the next decade and we will investigate all options to boost the sector, from large scale industrial plants, more energy from biomass and waste, through to microgeneration.

    “We will support growth in, and diversification into, the renewable heat sector with further targeted inward investment.

    “We will take a close look at the skills mix and ensure we can maintain a world class skills base in a rapidly changing technological environment. We will also support the development and co-ordination of supply chains across the renewable technologies to keep maximum economic benefit in Scotland.

    “The plan requires long term collaboration, and that process begins now.

    “The pace of change demands a constantly evolving framework and the plan will be updated and refreshed every six months to take account of the latest developments. That is the way we will stimulate a leading renewables industry and play our part in tackling climate change.”

    The Strategic Environmental Assessment on the Renewables Action Plan is open to consultation.

    Sam Bond

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