Bute House Agreement delivering Scotland’s energy transition.
The journey to a greener, fairer, net zero economy is accelerating as the Bute House Agreement, the shared policy programme between the Scottish Government and the Scottish Green Party, marks its second anniversary.
In the past year there has been an 8% growth in renewables capacity in Scotland, more than one-and-a-half times the rate of growth seen in the rest of the UK, and the Scottish Government has published its draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan, setting out a route to secure Scotland’s fastest possible fair and just move away from fossil fuels. Analysis estimates that the number of low carbon production jobs could rise from 19,000 in 2019 to 77,000 by 2050, meaning there will be more jobs in energy production in 2050 than there are now.
The Scottish Government has also released an Onshore Wind Policy Statement, confirming an ambition to more than double the country’s onshore wind capacity, while the new National Planning Framework 4 will help further realise Scotland’s renewable energy potential.
To mark the anniversary, Energy Secretary Neil Gray and Zero Carbon Buildings Minister Patrick Harvie officially opened the Greengairs East windfarm in North Lanarkshire.
Energy Secretary Neil Gray said:
“Delivering on our climate obligations is an absolute priority for this Government – as is our unwavering commitment to ensuring the journey to net zero is fair and just for everyone.
“The Bute House Agreement signalled our shared commitment to working together to build a greener, fairer and independent Scotland. An unstable world needs more co-operation and more constructive conversation if governments are to effectively meet the challenges they face.
“Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine triggered an energy price crisis which caused governments around the world to consider the long-term future to ensure our energy security, affordability and sustainability. The Scottish Government, underpinned by the principles and policies of the Bute House Agreement, has set out a very clear direction on how it can help overcome these issues and capitalise on the enormous opportunities our energy transition presents, while understanding that we need the UK Government to do more in areas which are reserved.
“It is absolutely fitting therefore, that we are marking the second anniversary of the Agreement here at the new Greengairs East windfarm.”
Zero Carbon Buildings Minister Patrick Harvie said:
“The Bute House Agreement established a shared policy programme that has tackling the climate emergency and supporting Scotland’s renewable energy industries at its core, and it’s great to see the impact that this is having.
“The energy bills crisis has hit everyone hard, particularly the most vulnerable, and has not gone away. While the UK Government needs to take urgent action in reserved areas, over the last year we have set out a very clear pathway on how we can transition to clean, green energy, to tackle the climate crisis and to capitalise on the enormous potential we have to ensure everyone and every household in Scotland can benefit.”
“The Bute House Agreement is also a commitment to a constructive way of working, based on shared aims and the core principles of building trust and good faith. Our approach to delivering a just and fair energy transition – ensuring we work across parliament, with the sector and with communities – is a prime example of how this approach benefits Scotland.”
As of March 2023, Scotland had 14.5 Gigawatts (GW) of installed renewable electricity generation capacity operational. This is a 8.1% increase from March 2022, largely due to increases in onshore and offshore wind capacity over the course of 2022. As of March 2023, the rest of UK had 40GW of installed renewable generation capacity operational, a 4.7% increase from March 2022.
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