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Scotland Signs Up to Challenging 50pc Renewables Target

25 Jan 16:00 by Steve Walia

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The Scottish government has published plans to ensure that half of its electricity, heat and transport power needs are met by renewable energy by 2030. The target is included as part of the Scottish Energy Strategy, a draft vision for transitioning the Scottish economy away from fossil fuel dependency and towards a sustainable low-carbon economy.

In 2015, 13pc of the country's total energy usage came from green energy sources. The new 50pc target has been warmly welcomed by environmental groups who had been campaigning for stronger and more ambitious measures.

There will now be a period of public consultation which will run until May. Additionally, the Scottish government has implemented a new target for greenhouse gas emissions, aiming to slash them by 66pc by 2032.

Its energy strategy will include options to re-power existing power stations. An example of this would be the Longannet fossil fuel power station reopening as a coal-powered station but with Carbon Capture and Storage capabilities.

The strategy also lays out a plan for the country to become the first part of Britain where onshore wind power can thrive without the financial support of subsidies. It also makes proposals for the creation of a government-owned energy utility which would work to help grow community and local green energy projects.

Above all, however, the strategy wants to see the end of fuel poverty for Scottish citizens, primarily by making existing homes in Scotland more energy-efficient.

The hope is that the development of green energy in Scotland will create many more economic benefits, new employment opportunities and lower carbon emissions. Up to £50 million of funding will be made available to fund 13 new projects across the country.

The news has been welcomed by green groups.