Scotland targets 50% of demand met by renewable electricity by 2015
Scotland will aim to produce the equivalent of 50% of its consumed electricity from renewable sources by 2015, first minister Alex Salmond said late on Tuesday.
"The target is ambitious, but we know it's achievable," Salmond said, adding it was based on projects that have already been consented.
The target, announced at trade body RenewableUK's annual conference in Glasgow, accelerates the country's ambitious push to generate the equivalent of 100% of its power consumption from renewable sources by 2020.
The Scottish government's most recent update on its progress showed that renewable sources produced 35% of Scotland's total consumption in 2011 - putting it four percentage points ahead of its interim target for that year.
This, Salmond said, had driven the decision to put the 2015 target in place.
The country is also keen to retain the right to set its own renewable subsidies under the UK energy bill (see EDEM 14 September 2012 and EDEM 24 July 2012).
Call for faster links
Salmond also called on British energy regulator Ofgem to fast-track construction of the east coast transmission link, which will allow renewable generation assets in Scotland to export power to centres of demand in England.
The so-called "western bootstrap" is expected to come online by 2016 (see EDEM 16 February 2012), and would go some way to alleviating the supply crunch that Ofgem said earlier this month would stretch areas of the British system by 2015 (see EDEM 5 October 2012).
Salmond also stressed the need for the UK government to include a decarbonisation target specifically for the power sector in its energy bill, which is due its second reading in parliament next week. JS/KB
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