Scotland's Renewable Energy Market
(Photo : Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Scottish Windfarm Starts Producing Electricity
(Photo : Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Scotland's renewable energy was only able to generate 97 percent of electricity demand, making the country missed its self-imposed target back in 2011, which is 100 percent.  

Over last week, Mar. 25, Scottish Renewables, Scotland's industry body for renewable energy,  announced that the country achieved exactly 97.4 percent of the demand in 2020, which is an 8 percent increase from the previous 89.4 back in 2019. 

Scotland's Renewable Energy Ambition

In 2009, the Scottish Government passed the "Climate Change Act," proposing to reach a net-zero emissions target by 2045.

It was then amended in 2019 when the Scottish Ministers signed the "Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act," detailing the plan to reach its ambitious target.

The plan includes having renewable energy account for 50 percent of Scotland's energy demand across electricity, transport, and heat.

Also Read: United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson Aims To Power Every Home In The United Kingdom With Wind By 2030

According to BBC's report in December 2020, Scotland wants to reduce the need for petrol and diesel cars by 2030 and to decarbonize the passenger rail network by 2035.

They also want to reduce the country's use of cars, aiming for the total distance driven reduced by 20 percent.

By 2032, Scotland wants 21 percent of its land to be completely covered by forest compared to today's 19 percent.

The nation also plans to restore 250,000 hectares of peatland, which is seen as a "nature based solution" to reducing carbon emissions.

On the other hand, the Scottish Government plans to have a series of technology funds backing the hydrogen and carbon capture and storage industries up and running by 2022.

Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said that Scotland's renewable electricity is just a quarter of its energy use.

"Domestic and commercial transport accounts for almost 25% of the energy used in Scotland, with heat making up more than half, as well as more than half of its emissions," said Mack, adding that while the technology to replace gas at home exists, its deployment would prove to be an enormous task.

Scotland's Renewable Energy Target and the COVID-19 Pandemic

In 2020, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said that Scotland is "determined" to "transition to a fairer, more sustainable and greener economy," despite the challenge of delivering these targets in the midst of rebuilding the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The climate emergency has not gone away - far from it - and the Scottish Government remains absolutely committed to ending Scotland's contribution to climate change by 2045 in a just and fair way," she said, adding that the pandemic allowed the country to design a better future and "put things back together differently."

However, a committee in Holyrood, Edinburgh, learned that the bids for new renewables schemes had been delayed significantly due to lack of staffing, leaving paperwork "sitting on desks for weeks and weeks."

According to Scotland's The National report on January 19, the number of approved renewable energy projects decreased since the start of the pandemic.

Related Article: Scientists In Scotland Introduce New Gas 'Fingerprinting' Procedure To Monitor CO2 Emissions

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Written by Lee Mercado

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