Sectoral marine plan for offshore wind energy: context report

Explains the background and more recent developments in offshore wind.

3 Energy Targets

3.1.1 To support the major changes that need to occur in energy generation, particularly to tackle climate change, Scotland is committed to a number of important energy targets both at national and EU level.

3.1.2 The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 establishes a long-term framework to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, with an interim target of 42% by 2020. In addition, the Scottish Government has made a commitment to generating 30% of energy demand, incorporating the equivalent of 100% of gross electricity consumption, from renewable sources by 2020 with an interim target of 15% by 2015. These targets support the achievement of binding EU climate change targets [2] , the EU Renewable Energy Directive [3] and the achievement of the Low Carbon Economy Roadmap [4] aspirations. In 2015, 59.4% of Scotland’s electricity consumption came from renewable sources, exceeding the interim target and installed capacity continues to grow towards the 2020 target. [5]

3.1.3 The Scottish Government Energy Efficiency Action Plan 2010 set a target to reduce energy consumption from a 2005-2007 baseline by 12% by 2020. By 2014, final energy consumption was 15.2% lower than baseline, achieving the target earlier than envisaged.

The Scottish Energy Strategy and Climate Change Plan 2017

3.1.4 In December 2017 the Scottish Government adopted the Scottish Energy Strategy [6] and updated the Climate Change Plan in February 2018 [7] .

Scottish Energy Strategy

3.1.5 The Scottish Energy Strategy places a strong emphasis on the energy sector’s economic role, benefits and potential, from established technologies to those that are new or still emerging. It sets out what more the Scottish Government is doing to help realise this potential under the following key areas:

  • Stimulating Investment;
  • Supporting Research and Innovation;
  • Strengthening Supply Chains;
  • Creating New Business Models;
  • Developing Necessary Skills;
  • Boosting Inclusive Growth;
  • Cultivating Regional Partnerships; and
  • Supporting Internationalisation.

3.1.6 This Strategy sets two new targets for the Scottish energy system by 2030:

  • The equivalent of 50% of the energy for Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity consumption to be supplied from renewable sources; and
  • An increase by 30% in the productivity of energy use across the Scottish economy.

3.1.7 These targets demonstrate the Scottish Government’s commitment to a low carbon future and to the continued growth of successful renewable energy sectors in Scotland.

Climate Change Plan

3.1.8 Under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, Scottish Ministers are required to set, by Order, annual emissions reduction targets for each year in the period 2010-2050, consistent with achieving the long-term greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. These annual targets are set in batches at least 12 years in advance. The third set batch of targets covering the period up to 2032 were established in October 2016 [8] and aim for a 66% reduction below 1990 levels by 2032.

3.1.9 In February 2018, Ministers published a report setting out policies and proposals for meeting those targets [9] . In particular this included a policy outcome to ensure that ‘ Scotland’s electricity grid intensity is below 50g CO 2 per kilowatt hour, aided by enhanced flexibility mechanisms and powered by a high penetration of renewables, using a range of technologies including onshore wind, offshore wind, hydro, solar, marine and bioenergy’. Based on achieving the emission reduction targets, Scotland can achieve decarbonisation of its electricity supply by 2030.

3.1.10 Other policy outcomes also seek to support the acceleration of uptake of electric cars and reduced reliance on fossil fuel for domestic heating.


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