Renewable and low carbon energy

Renewable and low carbon energy will provide the foundation of our future energy system, offering Scotland a huge opportunity for economic and industrial growth.

We are promoting and exploring the potential of Scotland's renewable energy resource and its ability to meet our local and national heat, transport and electricity needs, while also contributing to meeting our ambitious emissions reduction targets.

By 2030 we aim to generate 50% of Scotland's overall energy consumption from renewable sources, and by 2050 we aim to have decarbonised our energy system almost completely.


We are supporting low-carbon energy by:


Scotland’s long-term climate change targets will require the near-complete decarbonisation of our energy system by 2050, with renewable energy meeting a significant share of our needs.

The Scottish energy strategy published in December 2017 sets a 2030 target for the equivalent of 50% of the energy for Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity consumption to be supplied by renewable sources. This builds on the previous target we set in 2009, which required 30% of Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity needs to be met by renewable sources.

We have made good progress to date, with the equivalent of 17.8% being met by renewable sources in 2015. Reaching 50% in 13 years will be challenging, particularly in more uncertain market conditions compared to those in the preceding decades, and due to the fact not all the relevant policy levers are devolved to Scotland. But the target demonstrates our commitment to a low-carbon energy system and to the continued growth of the renewable energy sector in Scotland. It also underlines our belief in the sector’s ability to build on its achievements and progress so far.

We are also committed to building Scotland's reputation internationally for excellence in energy. We are keen to continue forging collaborative partnerships with other countries, supporting the internationalisation pillar of Scotland’s Economic Strategy and to help meet the aims of our international policy statement and international framework.

Bills and legislation

Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009

Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill


Directorate for Energy and Climate Change Business management unit:

Phone: 0131 244 4000

Scottish Government
Energy and Climate Change Directorate
Atlantic Quay
150 Broomielaw
G2 8LU

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