From now to 2020
4. Achieving 20% of energy consumption from renewable sources
4.1. The Scottish Government is keen to play an active and leading role in the overall European commitment to increase the share of renewable energy to 20% of final EU energy consumption by 2020.
4.2. The Commission has proposed a burden sharing arrangement across the EU, taking into account the current situation on renewable energy in each Member State and the relative GDP of each country. The UK's proposed share is 15%, up from the current figure of under 2%. Scotland will be expected to contribute to the UK's overall share and to play a part in the UK National Action Plan.
4.3. The Scottish Government believes that Scotland should aspire to a higher figure than the UK as a whole, and would like to aim for the figure of 20% of overall energy use. To reach this figure significant progress above current levels will be required in all sectors. This consultation document considers the range of measures that will be needed and how we propose, in conjunction with the UK as a whole, to get there. It is also important to stress that this is in no sense a cap but rather an interim stage towards our more long term vision for renewable energy in Scotland, where we see Scotland playing a leading role in conjunction with European partners in developing and supplying renewable energy to a wider market. We will look at going further than this if it is possible and practical to do so.
4.4. In considering the contribution that Scotland will make, the following issues should be taken into account (please note that these statistics are our current best estimate and will need refinement as better statistics become available).
- The current breakdown of total energy use by sector in Scotland is 45% heat;
29% transport; and 26% electricity.
- The current % of energy use from renewable sources in Scotland, broken down to electricity, heat and transport, is as follows:
Electricity 7 - 2002 - 12% of gross electricity consumption; 2006 - 16%
Heat - 2002 1%; 2006 1%
Biofuels in petrol and diesel 8 - 2002 0.01%; 2006 0.44%
Overall (Scottish final energy consumption) - 2002 3.4%; 2006 4.6%.
- On the basis of renewables providing 50% of gross electricity consumption (our current target), and 10% of transport use 9, and renewables in heat staying at 1%, renewable sources would provide some 15-17% of total energy use in Scotland by 2020.
- If renewable electricity reached 50% and transport 10%, renewable heat would need to increase to at least 11% of total heat use for renewables as a whole to account for 20%.
- If renewable heat remained at 1% and transport 10%, renewable electricity would need to rise to at least 62% of gross electricity consumption for renewables as a whole to account for 20%.
- If renewable heat remained at 1%, and transport also remained at 1%, renewable electricity would need to rise to at least 69% of gross electricity consumption for renewables as a whole to account for 20%.
4.5. The working assumption behind this consultation document is that we should make progress in all three areas in order to provide a flexible mix, thus bringing business benefit to a wide range of economic sectors. Our preferred option to meet the 20% target is to aim for at least 50% of gross electricity consumption from renewable sources, some 11% from heat and some 10% from transport.
Questions for debate
- Do consultees agree that we should aim at 20% to meet the 2020 target and that progress should be made in all three sectors of electricity, heat and transport?
- If not - why not?
The rest of the document looks at different forms of energy use, the opportunities each presents and the ways in which development may need to be facilitated. Readers may therefore want to reflect on those chapters before responding to this question.