Carbon from power generation to fall by four fifths by 2030
Scotland has set a target to cut carbon emissions from electricity generation by more than four-fifths by 2030, underlining the huge market for offshore wind beyond 2020.
First Minister Alex Salmond revealed the new target in an address this morning at the Scottish Renewables/Scottish Enterprise Offshore Wind & Supply Chain Conference, Aberdeen.
In 2010 emissions from electricity grid activity in Scotland were estimated to amount to 347 grams of carbon dioxide per Kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity generated.
A target of 50gCO2/kWh by 2030 – in line with independent advice from the UK Committee on Climate Change – is contained within Scotland’s revised Offshore Wind Route Map, launched today, and also in the Scottish Government’s draft second report on proposals and polices (RPP2) to meet overall emissions targets, being published at Holyrood this afternoon.
The UK Government has resisted industry and Scottish Government calls to use its Energy Bill, currently proceeding through Westminster, to set a decarbonisation target for the power sector now – instead, legislating for a decision on whether to set such a target to be made in 2016 at the earliest (i.e., after the next UK election).
Mr Salmond said: “We face a global imperative to tackle climate change and how we power our economies is a key part of that. Offshore wind has a strong, vibrant future, with plans to install up to 10 GW of capacity in Scottish waters over the next decade. More sites are being scoped for deployment in the 2020s – alongside commercial wave and tidal generation – as grid and interconnection upgrades and storage are further developed.
The First Minister also announced the signing of new Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) between Highland & Islands Enterprise (HIE) and four key ports in the region to support the development of the offshore wind sector. The partnership aims to help the ports attract a potential £100m of investment to the Highlands. The four joint-working agreements with Port of Ardersier, Kishorn Port Limited and Cromarty Firth Port Authority and Global Energy Nigg will support owners and operators to secure consents, market opportunities, attract investments and enable further development.
Dan Finch, UK Managing Director of EDP Renovaveis and co-chair of Scotland’s Offshore Wind Industry Group (OWIG), said: “To build a long-term sustainable industry and to insulate consumers from rising fossil fuel costs, we need a strong political commitment to renewables. Setting decarbonisation targets is a key part of delivering the confidence necessary for investment.”
He said: “We are working hard with our enterprise agencies both to secure overseas investment into our world-leading renewable energy industry and to support Scottish businesses to seize the huge opportunities available, working in partnership with inward investors and the rest of the supply chain to create jobs and help re-industrialise communities right across Scotland. These ports are ideally-positioned to become key hubs for the deployment of offshore wind, wave and tidal energy – across manufacturing, assembly, operations and maintenance – and the new Memorandums of Understanding with Highlands & Islands Enterprise underpin the importance that we attach to ensuring that all of Scotland wins from the renewables revolution.”
HIE Chief Executive Alex Paterson added:
“The offshore wind supply chain is showing strong interest in Scottish ports and harbours, and these official agreements give the market the strongest possible statement that the ports in the Highlands and Islands are open for renewables business. HIE is fully committed to working with ports across the region to ensure that they are ready to support manufacture, fabrication, assembly, deployment and operational support for the Scottish, UK and European offshore wind market.”