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Scotland sets 50% renewable energy target

Half of Scotland's heat, transport and electricity energy needs will be met by renewables by 2030 under plans published by the Scottish government.

The draft Scottish Energy Strategy sets out a vision for the transition away from oil and gas dependency and towards a low-carbon economy by 2050.

Only 13% of Scotland's total final energy consumption came from renewable sources in 2013.

Environmental groups had been campaigning for the 50% target.

A public consultation on the proposals will run until the end of May.

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Above: Longannet in Fife had been Scotland's last coal-fired powers station until it stopped production last year

Last week, the Scottish government set a new target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 66% by 2032.

Its energy strategy, which was unveiled by Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse at Holyrood, includes exploring the "re-powering" of existing power stations, which could see Longannet reopen as a coal-fired station with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

It also sets out an ambition for Scotland to be the first place in the UK where onshore wind energy schemes thrive without subsidy.

And it proposes the establishment of a Scottish government-owned energy company, with responsibility for helping the growth of local and community energy projects.

  • Target to cut Scots emissions by 66%
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But the strategy says that "most important of all" is helping to end "fuel poverty misery", partly by greatly improving the energy efficiency of existing homes.

In his foreword to the report, Mr Wheelhouse stressed that exploration and production of oil and gas in Scottish waters "will continue to provide high-value employment and a stable energy supply for decades to come".

He added: "Our ambition is that these strengths should also provide the engineering and technical bedrock for the transformational change in Scotland's energy system over the coming decades.

Read full article here: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-38729869

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