Producing half of Scotland’s energy needs using renewable technology by 2030 is an achievable goal, according to a report.
Environmental organisations have urged the Scottish Government to adopt the target and bring forward policies to make it a reality.
Based on independent analysis by Ricardo Energy and Environment, the report by WWF Scotland, Friends of the Earth Scotland and RSPB Scotland has set out how Scotland’s climate targets could be met in the most cost-effective way. It found that to achieve these goals half of all the country’s energy will need to come from renewables by the end of next decade.
It suggested that two-fifths of Scotland’s homes will be heated from renewable sources, with a Warm Homes Act helping to ensure access to cleaner, more affordable heat.
A national energy efficiency programme should help reduce energy use in homes by 30 per cent, while millions of homes across the country will have to be insulated, the report added.
One in three cars, and half of all buses, should be electric, with almost all electricity generated from renewables.
WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “This report shows that a 50 per cent renewables target for all our energy needs by 2030 is not only needed, but that it is achievable.
“Ministers should now make this a Scottish Government target and bring in the policies needed in its forthcoming energy strategy.
“Doing so would enable Scotland to enjoy the many economic and social benefits that the report suggests would take place as result of generating half of all our energy needs from renewables.”
The Scottish Government has already achieved a target to reduce emissions by at least 42 per cent by 2020.
It also aims to generate 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
Scottish Renewables’ Niall Stuart said it was time to “lift our horizons and set an ambitious target to drive investment in renewable heat, power and transport through the 2020s”.