If Scotland wants to become a European leader in renewables, it now has a roadmap to follow: Renewables Scotland 2030.
According to the paper, prepared for think tank Common Weal by engineer Craig Berry, U.K. energy policies have failed Scotland since 1980. A whopping 34.9 percent of Scottish households are facing fuel poverty while the six largest energy companies have seen profit margins increase.
The paper outlines a way for Scotland to combat these trying energy issues and become a European leader in renewable energy by 2030.
The author of Renewables Scotland 2030 suggests that the nation's new National Energy Company focus on five key objectives:
- Reduce, and one day eliminate, fuel poverty
- Meet at least 75 percent of fuel demand with renewable energy
- Decentralize the energy supply
- Invest in and advance research and development in environmentally conscious technologies
- Use a not-for-profit approach to ensure that these green efforts yield social results
If Scotland shifts its focus toward these objectives, following the lead of German and Nordic nations, it could emerge a world leader in energy by 2030, according to Berry.
Scotland is already making some progress in revamping its energy sector. In September 2017, the Scottish government pledged to phase out gas and diesel passenger vehicles by 2032. In 2016, it set a goal to generate 100 percent of its electricity through renewables by 2020.
As part of that goal, the nation has dramatically increased its support for wind power. “We have a great resource. It's Scotland’s terrible weather,” Niall Stuart, the chief executive of Scottish Renewables, told The Washington Post in 2016. In October 2017, that weather allowed Scotland to generate enough wind energy to meet an impressive 38 percent of its energy needs.
The objectives outlined in the Renewables Scotland 2030 report go beyond individual energy sources or initiative. If met, they would allow Scotland to break free from fossil fuels and establish itself as a leader in renewables to the benefit of not only the environment, but the nation and its citizens as well.