Scottish Government’s Renewable Energy Target Now “Guaranteed To Be Met”
The SNP government’s aim of having the capacity to produce the equivalent of 100% of Scotland’s electricity from renewable sources is now effectively guaranteed to be met, probably well before the target date of 2020, from existing and consented developments which now represent more than 99% of the required capacity.
Professor Jack Ponton, a member of the Scientific Alliance Scotland executive committee, said: “Our calculations show that existing and consented wind capacity totals 12,400MW against a total required capacity of 12,600MW. The balance of new wind provision required to meet the Government’s target is thus only 200MW. With recent scoping consents for 2,700MW offshore, there is at least 9,300MW in the planning system, and historic consent rates are over 50%. More applications will simply cause even more unnecessary worry and cost to affected communities.”
The Alliance believes strongly that there should be a moratorium on further wind turbine applications, allowing overburdened planning departments to give closer scrutiny to those already in the system. No economic case was ever made by the Scottish government for the original target, and so except in the unlikely case that it can be shown that benefits to Scotland from renewable generation exceed the costs to consumers and the local environment, there can be no justification for going beyond it.”
Professor Ponton went on to say “Even the wind industry accepts that conventional generation is required to keep the lights on due to the intermittency of wind. This has also been recognised by the UK government's support for nuclear and gas generation to provide security of supply.”