Scotland Aims For 80% Renewable Energy By 2020

It wasn’t that long ago the prospect of powering a nation with clean, renewable energy seemed to be a pipe dream; but as some countries are demonstrating, it’s entirely possible to have one one hundred percent clean electricity – and it may happen sooner than we think.
 
The coast of Scotland is estimated to have a quarter of Europe’s potential offshore wind power and tidal capacity and a tenth of its wave energy resource. Scotland is seizing on its green fortunes and has committed to cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 42 per cent by 2020 and expanding renewable electricity capacity to the equivalent of at least 80 per cent of demand by the end of this decade.
 
Speaking at the Scottish Low Carbon Investment conference in Edinburgh, First Minister Alex Salmond said, "This is a pivotal turning point in human history, on a par with the move from hunter-gathering to settled agricultural communities or the discovery of the New World in 1492."
 
The Minister believes up to 60,000 new green jobs could be created across the low carbon sector in Scotland by the end of 2020, with 28,000 of them directly servicing domestic and global offshore wind markets.
 
But to really kick-start Scotland’s renewable energy boom, finance is needed. "While we won’t find all of the financing solutions this week, we know that it has been done before with North Sea oil and gas a generation ago. And we can do it again on the same scale. Let’s get down to work and bring our Renewables Revolution closer to reality," stated Mr Salmond.
 
Mr. Salmond has commented elsewhere that a Scotland powered by 100% renewable energy was entirely possible given the necessary support and market conditions.
 
An Offshore Valuation report, published in May this year, found that harnessing just a third of Scotland’s practical offshore wind, wave and tidal resource by 2050 would take the country’s installed offshore renewables capacity to 68 GW – the electricity equivalent of 1 billion barrels of oil a year; which would match North Sea oil and gas production – while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 1.1 billion tonnes by 2050.