1. The evidence that Scottish Ministers and/or the Directorate for Energy and Climate Change has used in order to calculate that Scotland requires ‘at least 20 Gigawatts of additional low-cost renewable electricity capacity by 2030’ (see Scotland’s Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan January 10th 2023).
2. The evidence that Scottish Ministers and/or the Directorate for Energy and Climate Change has used in order to calculate that Scotland will require 40 gW of power by 2030 (see Scotland’s Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan January 10th 2023).
As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.
This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.
Response to your request
I include a copy of all of the information you requested.
The answer to your questions are:
1. The draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan (ESJTP) does not state that Scotland requires at least 20 Gigawatts of additional low-cost renewable electricity capacity by 2030. The ESJTP outlines an overall ambition for "more than 20 GW of additional renewable electricity on- and offshore by 2030" (ESJTP page 3). This ambition is primarily comprised of an additional 12 GW of onshore wind, plus achieving 8-11 GW offshore wind, by 2030. The Scottish Government also supports other renewable technology deployment and are planning to consult on ambitions in solar and wave and tidal technologies. The primary sources of evidence for the ambitions of an additional 12 GW onshore wind and 8-11 GW offshore wind are the Onshore Wind and Offshore Wind Policy Statements (links below), and the evidence basis for each of these is explained, in turn, below.
The Onshore Wind Policy Statement was developed on the basis of a public consultation (link below), which alongside other evidence sources (including the Onshore Wind Industry Prospectus, CCC 6th Carbon Budget and the Pipeline for Onshore Wind – links below), concluded that it would be appropriate that the Scottish Government should adopt a 20 GW ambition for onshore wind by 2030. That is an additional 12 GW of onshore wind on top of that which is currently in operation.
The Offshore Wind Policy Statement (OWPS) was also developed on the basis of a public consultation (link below), which alongside other evidence sources (outlined in paragraph 9, page 8 of the OWPS) concluded that an ambition range of between 8-11GW installed offshore wind capacity by 2030 would be suitable for the Scottish Government to adopt.
The ambitions within the Offshore and Onshore Wind Policy Statements combine to a total ambition of 20 GW additional renewables in Scotland by 2030.
It should be noted that in addition to providing renewable electricity to meet growing demand in Scotland and support the achievement of our climate change ambitions, this 20 GW of renewables will also contribute to meeting electricity demand and decarbonisation across the rest of the UK.
2. The draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan (ESJTP) does not state that Scotland will require 40 GW of power by 2030. The draft ESJTP highlights that the total potential capacity of offshore wind in Scotland, including all potential projects in the pipeline (subject to planning and consenting decisions, and finding a route to market) could be over 40 GW.
This 40 GW figure is based solely on publicly available evidence on potential offshore wind projects in Scotland and is not an official ambition or target of the Scottish Government. A chart summarising this and a breakdown of the sources of that data can be found on pages 59 and 60 of the draft ESJTP.
Some of the information you have requested is available from the following websites as indicated in the answer:
- Draft Offshore Wind Policy Statement (www.gov.scot)
- Offshore Wind Policy Statement (www.gov.scot)
- Onshore Wind Policy Statement 2022 (www.gov.scot)
- onshore_wind_prospectus_fina.pdf (ymaws.com)
- Sixth Carbon Budget - Climate Change Committee (theccc.org.uk)
- Onshore Wind Policy Statement Refresh 2021: Consultative Draft (www.gov.scot)
- Draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan (www.gov.scot)
Under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs, we do not have to give you information which is already publicly available and easily accessible to you in another form or format. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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