Renewables can supply All of Scotland’s Electricity by 2025

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Scotland will be producing renewable electricity in volumes equivalent to its entire demand by 2025, First Minister Alex Salmond forecast today, ahead of his address to an international conference aimed at accelerating private finance investment in low carbon projects.

The First Minister, who opens the Scottish Low Carbon Investment conference in Edinburgh today (Tuesday September 28), also revealed that an industry-led Offshore Wind ‘Route Map’ will be unveiled at the event – to galvanise the public and private sector to overcome existing challenges and maximise the huge potential around Scotland’s coast.


Scotland will be producing renewable electricity in volumes equivalent to its entire demand by 2025, First Minister Alex Salmond forecast today, ahead of his address to an international conference aimed at accelerating private finance investment in low carbon projects.

The First Minister, who opens the Scottish Low Carbon Investment conference in Edinburgh today (Tuesday September 28), also revealed that an industry-led Offshore Wind ‘Route Map’ will be unveiled at the event – to galvanise the public and private sector to overcome existing challenges and maximise the huge potential around Scotland’s coast.

Mr Salmond said:
“Scotland has unrivalled green energy resources and our new national target to generate 80 per cent of electricity needs from renewables by 2020 will be exceeded by delivering current plans for wind, wave and tidal generation.

“But Scotland’s ambitions go much further. Indeed, I’m confident that by 2025 we will produce at least 100 per cent of our electricity needs from renewables alone, and together with other sources it will enable us to become a net exporter of clean, green energy. Indeed, on the basis of the Offshore Valuation study, by 2050 we could be producing as much as seven times our domestic power needs through offshore renewables – positioning Scotland as the clean, green energy powerhouse of Europe. That will require us to harness a third of our practical offshore wind and marine resource by the middle of the century.

“The Offshore Wind Industry Group’s Route Map sets out the sector’s ambitions in Scotland and identifies the actions needed to ensure they are realised. A key issue – and the key focus of the conference – is to mobilise finance to secure the estimated £200 billion of private investment needed to seize this once in a generation opportunity. Investment on this scale established today’s North Sea oil and gas industry. Scotland’s second wave of offshore energy offers unique investment opportunities to do so again and I’m confident that those will be grasped.”

The two-day Scottish Low Carbon Investment conference provides a unique forum for Government, international finance, utilities and developers to engage directly, debating and identifying the risks and rewards of major capital, public/private and ‘venture’ size projects in the low carbon sector. Scotland’s First Minister, Environment Secretary, Energy Minister and senior officials will represent the Scottish Government at the conference.

The Route Map will be published on Tuesday by the Offshore Wind Industry Group , making recommendations in five main areas (infrastructure, supply chain and innovation; grid; managing the environment; skills; and finance). Its Membership include all offshore wind developers active in Scotland, grid operators, supply chain companies, academia and public sector including the Scottish Government, enterprise agencies and The Crown Estate.

Scotland is committed to be a major exporter of low carbon electricity and to decarbonise our electricity supply by 2030, through a combination of renewables and clean fossil fuels utilising Carbon Capture and Storage. Scotland’s national target for renewable electricity generation was raised last week from 50 to 80 per-cent of gross electricity consumption by 2020.

The Scottish Government has now determined 42 energy applications, including approval for 35 renewable and two non-renewable projects since May 2007 – more than double the number of determinations than over the whole of the previous four years, in which 19 projects were determined.

The Offshore Valuation report, published in May, found that harnessing just a third of Scotland’s practical offshore wind, wave and tidal resource by 2050 would take the country’s installed offshore renewables capacity to 68 GW. Deploying just a third of the total UK resource could unlock the electricity equivalent of 1 billion barrels of oil a year (matching North Sea oil & gas production), delivering CO2 reductions of 1.1 billion tonnes by 2050. The report estimated that delivering this output would require capital expenditure between now and 2050 estimated at £443 billion across the UK – which, if apportioned on the basis of share of practical resource, would equate to some £177 billion of capital investment in offshore sites around Scotland.