October 7, 2008

Pressure on As Salmond Announces New Renewable Energy Targets


NEW targets to increase renewable forms of energy were announced by the First Minister yesterday.

Launching the Renewable Energy Framework and a GBP 2 million biomass support scheme during a visit to Inverness yesterday, Mr Salmond said the Scottish Government was making progress towards making the country the green energy capital of Europe.

The EU has called for 20 per cent of energy to come from renewables by 2020. But Mr Salmond said Scotland was on its way to having 50 per cent of its gross electricity consumption coming from renewable sources by 2020, and 31 per cent by 2011.

But he said Scotland lagged behind in using renewable sources for heat and transport.

Mr Salmond said: "Tackling climate change presents huge opportunities for Scotland, and despite the current economic slowdown, the country's renewable energy sector is booming."

Jason Ormiston, the organisation's chief executive, said: "At last the Scottish Government is joining up its energy policy with an action plan for renewable heat alongside electricity and transport fuels."

The main technologies to increase renewable heat in the UK are likely to be biomass-based. A scheme used at the Scottish School of Forestry, which Mr Salmond visited, sees timber that may otherwise go to waste now used to fuel a plant that heats the premises and has cut heating bills by GBP 7,000 a year.

The framework also seeks to develop alternative transport, such as electric or hydrogen vehicles, and the use of biofuels.

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