Renewable Energy

Wind farmWhat are renewables?

Renewables are energy forms which are essentially inexhaustible, unlike fossil fuel sources, which are finite. Renewable energy sources include wind (onshore and offshore), hydro, wave, tidal, biomass, solar, and geothermal. Renewable energy can be used for heating and transport as well as electricity generation.

Why renewables?

The earth's fossil fuel supplies (oil, gas, coal) are limited and will be depleted over time. As this process continues, remaining reserves will become increasingly difficult to access. It is also widely held that the gases released when fossil fuels are burned to produce energy are contributing towards changes in our climate and rises in global temperatures. By using increasing amounts of renewable energy (as well as by conserving as much energy as possible), we are acting sustainably and helping to protect our environment. Renewable energy can also create opportunities for economic growth.

What are we aiming for?

  • renewable sources to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland's gross annual electricity consumption by 2020, with an interim milestone of 31 per cent by 2011.
  • renewables sources to provide the equivalent of 11 per cent of Scotland's heat demand by 2020.

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