Scotland’s hydro sector has until the end of the year before swingeing Government cuts “make further development unlikely”, according to an industry expert.
Commenting on the results of the 2015 General Election, which saw the Conservative Party win a majority of seats, Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “It is important for the renewable energy industry to get an early and clear commitment to the continued growth of the sector, and to meeting our existing 2020 climate change targets, given negative comments from Conservative backbench MPs – and even ministers – in the last parliament."
Scotland must kick its addiction to conventional gas-fired boilers and embrace renewable heat if it is to hit challenging 2020 targets, a major conference will hear this month (April 2015). Progress in the sector so far has been slow, with just 3% of heat coming from renewable sources against a target of 11% – which must be achieved in just over 2,000 days.
Jillian McKenna, Director of Marketing at Scottish Renewables, said: “We were delighted by the quantity and the quality of the entries to these new awards, which proved what we all knew – that there is a fantastic wealth of young talent out there in the renewable energy sector."
Almost four in five Scottish adults (79%) believe the next UK Government should implement policies to continue to develop renewable energy, according to a YouGov poll ahead of the General Election. That’s compared to just 26% who back fracking for shale gas, 45% who support new nuclear power stations and 49% in favour of the building or extension of coal and gas-fired power stations.
Joss Blamire, Senior Policy Manager at industry body Scottish Renewables, said: “With records broken for all our major renewable energy technologies – hydro, solar pv, biomass and wind – 2014 was the best year ever for green energy in Scotland."
Scottish Renewables responds to the publication of the Committee on Climate Change’s Scottish Progress Report 2015
More than seven in ten Scottish adults (71%) polled last month (February 2015) said they supported the continued development of wind power as part of our energy mix, compared to 64% in February 2013. The independent survey conducted by YouGov, and commissioned for industry body Scottish Renewables, comes as figures reveal the capacity of onshore wind in Scotland rose by 20% in the same time period.
Patricia Hawthorn, Partner at UK law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn, has been appointed Chairman of the renewables body while Gordon MacDougall, Managing Director, Western Europe at global renewable developer RES, has been appointed Vice-Chairman.
Scotland’s renewables industry received a welcome boost this morning with one of the country’s offshore wind projects allocated funding for the next 15 years, and support announced for a number of onshore wind farms.