Scotland 'could be powered entirely by renewables by 2030'

Scotland could be powered almost entirely by renewables by 2030 and could export energy to the rest of the UK without the need for coal or nuclear power stations, according to a new report.

Renewables: could meet Scottish energy demand
Renewables: could meet Scottish energy demand

The report, Pathways to Power: Scotland’s route to clean, renewable, secure electricity by 2030, is based on analysis by engineering and energy consultancy DNV GL and is backed by conservation charity WWF.

The report says that Scotland can achieve "a secure, decarbonised power sector by 2030 with only renewables and minimal [Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)]-fitted gas power".

"An almost entirely renewables-based Scottish system is possible with moderate efforts to reduce demand for electricity and ongoing work to reinforce the grid.

"The current pipeline of renewables will be more than adequate to hit the decarbonisation target and allow for substantial export of electricity to the rest of Great Britain, particularly if Scotland makes perfectly feasible progress on energy efficiency", it says.

The report plays down the use of CCS to help decarbonise energy production saying that there is "no guarantee" that the technology will be commercialised and rolled out in time and Scotland’s climate targets "could easily be missed unless a safer pathway is followed".

WWF Scotland’s climate and energy policy officer, Gina Hanrahan, said: "We’ve seen renewables go from strength to strength in recent years. They are now the biggest electricity generator in Scotland, outstripping nuclear, coal and gas.

"We need to see the phasing out of conventional generation in Scotland, clarity about the future market for renewables across the UK and more emphasis on demand reduction and storage in Scotland so the vision can be achieved."

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