Renewables sector groups believe energy goal in sight
A majority of organisations operating in the renewables sector believe the Scottish Government will achieve its 2030 “all-energy” target, according to a new survey.
The poll, conducted by legal firm Brodies, found that 60 per cent believe that the goal is achievable, despite challenges including recent changes to the UK government’s renewable electricity subsidies regime and the absence of any subsidy regime of similar scale in the heat sector.
Earlier this year, the Scottish Government published a draft energy strategy for the period up to 2030. It sets out a vision for a low-carbon economy that shifts the focus from oil and gas towards renewable energy sources. The strategy also proposes a move away from electricity being the primary focus to one in which all energy sectors contribute, by setting a so-called “all-energy” target.
The survey was released as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon addressed the All Energy Conference in Glasgow, saying: “Over the past ten years, our pattern of energy consumption has changed considerably, helping us to meet – and exceed – our 2020 target for reducing energy consumption six years early.
“We are determined to build on this success and we are now seeking views on a new target through our draft energy strategy – for 50 per cent of our energy consumption, spanning heat, transport and electricity to be met by renewables by 2030.”
Asked to identify the policy measures that the Government should take to help it achieve its target and overcome the current challenges facing the sector, respondents to the Brodies survey identified giving priority to new developments such as energy storage, encouraging the development of district heating and the continued deployment of the most efficient onshore wind technologies.
More than three-quarters of respondents (77 per cent) identified storage technologies as the priority to “keep the lights on” by balancing the supply and demand for electricity produced from renewable sources as part of a new “energy mix”, while cutting carbon dioxide emissions.
Keith Patterson, co-head of renewables at Brodies, said: “The energy sector is accustomed to change – it has lived with it for the past decade.
“Economic and technological changes are transforming the electricity sector, seemingly by the day. Much of this change has been spurred by policies seeking to drive the decarbonisation of our energy supply.
“Yet, despite all the change, we have only touched the surface of what is required.”