Our vision is to create a cleaner, greener Scotland by obtaining a greater proportion of our country's energy from our own renewable sources.
Behind this desire for change is a recognition that Scotland is already beginning to feel the impact of climate change. There is sound scientific evidence that our climate will change significantly over the coming century. Our Climate Change Programme, "Changing Our Ways", highlighted the need to take action to reduce the impact of our energy usage. It is not an option to do nothing, we must act now.
We are delivering enhanced support measures to bring forward a diverse mix of clean energy sources. Biomass in its many forms has the potential to make a key contribution to our renewable energy and climate change objectives.
Biomass energy has been slow to develop in Scotland, despite our wealth of potential fuel sources. For the sector to grow and develop, it will be essential to have the right framework in place to support development at this early stage.
This action plan sets out a vision for how that framework will be established, and what needs to happen to make progress. Some of this is for the Executive to lead, but business and other public sector agencies must all play their part in helping to maximise the opportunities for growth, jobs and sustainability offered by the expansion of the biomass sector in Scotland.
This action plan is a first step towards getting significant amounts of biomass energy capacity off the ground. It will be complemented by the publication of a renewable heat strategy for Scotland later this year.
We will continue to work in partnership with the key players to pursue this action plan and ensure that biomass can fulfil its potential as a clean, green fuel, providing Scotland with cheap, clean and convenient heat and power.
We invite all interested groups to work with us to make this vision happen and make Scotland a renewables powerhouse.