The establishment of a Scottish government-owned energy company and a potential role for renewable energy bonds are just two of the proposals that will make up a widespread consultation about to get under way on Scotland’s first energy strategy.
Part of that strategy is a new target set by the Scottish government to deliver the equivalent of 50% of the energy required for Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030.
Up to £50 million in funding for 13 projects “which will demonstrate low carbon or renewable electricity, heating or storage solutions” will be unveiled next month.
Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “The decisions we make about Scotland’s energy future are among the most important choices we face as a society.
“Safe, reliable and affordable energy underpins the continued growth of the Scottish economy, and safeguards the delivery of key services upon which individuals and communities depend.
“Achieving our vision is also crucial to efforts to tackle fuel poverty and to preventing the damaging effects of climate change, as part of the global community’s fight to limit global temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius or less.
“The Scottish Government is determined to support a stable, managed transition to a low carbon economy in Scotland, recognising the very real need to decarbonise our heat supplies and transport system.
“The oil and gas sector will continue to play a vital role during that transition, because our economy will continue to require hydrocarbons over this period.
“In particular, the renewable energy sector, which now employs more than 11,000 people in Scotland, and which has been a major driver of Scotland’s economy in recent years, has the potential to grow even further, helping us meet our climate change targets through extending our success in decarbonising electricity supplies to secure a step-change in decarbonising energy for heat and transport.
“Through this, we can build the right environment for innovation, investment and the creation of even more high value jobs in Scotland.
“I am very keen to ensure this strategy, which helps to underpin key aspects of the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Plan which was published last week, is infused with the thoughts and views of people from right across Scotland and I would strongly encourage everyone to participate.”