Leader: Green ambitions left high and dry

JUST when the SNP administration stretched its plans to rely on renewables to the limit comes news that the target may be further away than ever. While it talked up the wonders of wind turbines it forgot about … water.

The amount of renewable electricity produced for Scottish homes and businesses dropped last year because of “very low” rainfall.

According to Met Office figures, Scotland’s rainfall fell from 1,690 millimetres in 2009 to 1,255mm last year. The lower rainfall meant that the country’s hydro installations were unable to produce as much power. Separate official figures show that, overall, the percentage of the UK’s energy from renewables fell last year from 20.9 per cent to 19.1 per cent.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Not only are the figures a setback to hopes of progress in 2010 but they also cast doubt on whether the drive to secure 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity from renewables by 2020 is achievable. As Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser, head of the Holyrood parliament’s energy committee pointed out yesterday, many are already questioning whether these targets are realistic, given how clearly vulnerable this energy source is to the vagaries of the weather.

And this in turn will increase concern over the adequacy of fall-back plans should renewables fail to deliver.