Whilst the rest of the UK are setting up their future energy policies in Scotland there are ambitions to have the country meeting a renewables target of 100 per cent. MSP’s have since warned that if immediate action isn’t adhered to such as the infrastructure, financing and the planning regime then the ambitious project could fail.
The committee which deals with the economics, energy and tourism within Holyrood said that the country has a long road ahead in order to achieve the target of having a wholly renewable Scottish electric system. They also stated that they felt it was achievable but obstacles were to be overcome. One challenge being the costs involved when exporting stored energy from renewable energy sources to the national grid.
The reason for the significant costs is due the largest number of energy users being in the South of England and the charging process penalises those areas with the greatest renewables potential. The chairman of the committee Murdo Fraser, a Tory MSP, stated that any recommendations that are made from the committee are paramount in how the renewables target progresses and the overall success of the plan.
The Scottish recommendations were prepared before the UK government released the details of their energy bill last week with their own 2020 targets. Their bills key proposal being to add £7.6 billion onto consumers bills for an accelerated renewables investment. UK ministers believe that this will start a domino effect with industries such as banking, utilities and engineering companies adding a further £110 billion to the pot.
Scotland leader Alex Salmond, whose SNP party are still pushing for Scottish independence, will be pleased that the UK government cannot agree on a firm target for reducing Co2 emissions. All the while the Scottish parliament have committed to reducing emissions by 42 per cent by 2020.
Renewables investors are confident due to Mr Salmond’s enthusiasm and championing of renewable energy sources, creating a more positive business environment this side of the border. This is in stark contrast to the divisions and delays at UK level over the increasing amount of subsidies.