Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond announced to the World that the new Scottish Government's 2020 Renewable Electricity Target has been raised to 100%.
"Because the pace of development has been so rapid, with our 2011 target already exceeded, we can now commit to generating the equivalent of 100% of Scotland's own electricity demand from renewable resources by 2020. By then, we intend to be generating twice as much electricity as Scotland needs - just over half of it from renewables, and just under half from other conventional sources. We will be exporting as much electricity as we consume. So we will continue to work with industry and governments at local, UK and European level to build on what we have achieved. We will now move still further and faster to secure our place as the green energy powerhouse of the continent of Europe."
- First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond
In this video Mr. Salmond describes this plan in detail: Scotland possesses 1/4 of Europe's Offshore Wind and Tidal Potential as well as 1/10 of Europe's Wave Energy Potential. They intend on developing these resources to their full potential and claim that utilizing 8 Offshore Wind Energy Sites around Scotland have the potential to Produce 10 GW of Electricity by 2020.
So far Scotland has consented to 42 renewable energy projects, at 25 offshore sites. In addition to creating enough renewable energy for their own needs, Scotland is developing a Grid, and plans on Exporting Energy to other Countries.
This sounds great, but one thing that really didn't belong in this announcement was Mr. Salmond's attempt to satisfy those in Oil Industry. In the middle of the video regarding renewable energy, he mentions that Scotland still has vast reserves of oil and gas, and is also setting firm goals to maintain and develop Aberdeen's position in the worlds oil and gas industry, especially the Subsea Industry.
Mr. Salmond also mentions that he worked closely with the (Energy Advisory Board & the Oil and Gas Adviser Group). He stated his concerns over the Coalition Government's decision to increase taxes on oil and gas projects, and how this decision has hurt business in the Oil and Gas sector. He then joked that he will kick down the chancellors door to offer him constructive suggestions on how to repair this. I had to laugh, but some people could take that out of context, perhaps it's just bad humor? I'm sure he didn't mean it to be anything more than a joke.
Regardless, I hope Mr. Salmond takes the time to consult experts about the environmental consequences of Subsea Oil and Gas. A (BP) type incident could destroy their Fishing and Tourism sectors, not to mention the Health of the Citizens in the United Kingdom. Due to these factors, Mr. Salmond may want to cut the part about Subsea Oil and Gas, because it may taint his Renewable Energy Message.
Sandwiched in the middle of all this, Mr.Salmond explains Scotland's ability to store Carbon Emissions via Carbon Capture Storage. That research by the Scottish Enterprise claims (CCS) would add 3 Billion pounds in gross value to Scotland, and create 5000 new jobs.
This plan includes the European Marine Energy Center (EMEC) being the 1st Testing Facility to be Grid Connected, and in this announcement the First Minister noted: That a strategic agreement between the (EMEC) in Orkney and the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy in Nova Scotia, Canada was Signed. The agreement signifies a joint venture to Collaborate on the Development of Power Generation from the Sea.
It also has the potential to deliver 6 Billion pounds of investment to establish the Worlds only commercially leased Wave and Tidal projects in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters. The Venture is said to Generate 1.6 GW of Electricity, and help Increase New Apprenticeship Jobs from 20,000 to 25,000 in 2011, for the next 5 years.
With all these exciting new developments, Scotland's Renewable Energy Future looks Bright, and the First Ministers statements regarding Scotland's desire to become a Renewable Energy Power House in Europe is a Breath of Fresh Air.
(Images provided by: Wikipedia)