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Ambitious Scottish energy strategy unveiled

Words: Roger Milne

Half of Scotland's heat, transport and electricity power needs would be met by renewables by 2030, according to the Scottish Government’s first-ever energy strategy, now out for consultation.

The draft blueprint, published this week, charts how the devolved administration would transition from oil and gas dependency towards a low-carbon economy by 2050.

The strategy includes a challenge to renewable energy developers to make Scotland the first area in the UK to host subsidy-free onshore wind.

The blueprint sees a continuing major role for onshore wind with 7.5 gigawatts (GW) of capacity currently proposed, awaiting construction or under construction.

The strategy highlights a renewed focus on energy efficiency, which will involve a targeted approach to reducing demand and transforming homes and businesses across Scotland, including investment in district heating.

It says existing thermal generation plants could be “repowered” under a move that could see Longannet, for instance, reopened as a coal-fired power station fitted with carbon capture and storage technology.

The blueprint includes the prospect of a government-owned energy company that would focus on local power schemes.

The document stresses a key role for planning in delivering the strategy.

Next month the administration is set to announce details of up to £50 million in funding to be awarded to 13 projects, at sites across Scotland, which will demonstrate low carbon or renewable electricity, heating or storage solutions.

The consultation on the draft energy strategy can be found here.

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