Scotland is leading the UK in promoting green power, including a determined focus on helping more households to install renewable energy systems. The Scottish Government has already ploughed £500,000 into interest-free loans available to help householders install renewable energy systems, and is also rolling out a raft of other eco friendly initiatives.
While the rest of the UK has to wait until 2012 for the introduction of the much talked about , Scots are already benefitting from loans of up to £2,000 for a range of renewable heat and electricity generating technologies. This means that green technology like heat pumps, biomass boilers, micro wind turbines and solar panels are likely to become a more and more common sight north of the border.
Helping turn Scotland into a low-carbon economy
It’s all part of the Scottish Government’s mission to turn Scotland into a leading low-carbon economy, as Energy Minister Jim Mather explains:
“Scotland is going greener and the wide take-up of small-scale technologies will be vital to become a truly low carbon economy. There has never been a better time to save energy and go green.”
“Low cost, low carbon heating technologies, especially attractive in areas off the gas grid, will cut emissions and support jobs in the manufacturing and installation industry.”
As a further incentive, those installing renewable energy will be able to sell any excess energy they make back into the National Grid using the existing UK-wide ‘Feed-in Tariff’ scheme.
And in a bid to further reduce the barriers to the uptake of green energy, planning restrictions for installing renewable energy systems will also be reviewed in Scotland.
Scotland leads on emissions targets
As part of its green energy plans, the Scottish Government also increased its renewable electricity targets in 2007 and 2010. Renewable sources are planned to generate 80 per cent of Scotland’s annual electricity consumption by 2020, with a shorter-term target of 31 per cent in 2011. Renewables sources are also hoped to provide 11 per cent of Scotland’s heat demand by 2020.
Scotland’s Climate Change Act of 2010 also put the country at the forefront of green energy. It set a target of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, with a world-leading short-term target of a 42% cut by 2020.
Scottish renewables overtake nuclear
Capacity for renewable electricity generation has already overtaken nuclear power in Scotland, and electricity energy suppliers there are now obliged to provide an increasing amount of their electricity from renewable sources.
Scotland is lucky, as it has a long-standing hydro power resource plus great scope for onshore and offshore wind farm developments, wave power and tidal energy. It’s clear, however, that bold measures like the interest-free renewables loans and challenging emissions targets mean Scotland not only has the means, but also the political will to really push green energy.