Tuesday, September 19, 2006

100% Renewable Energy For Scotland

That is the target that Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Nicol Stephen has announced as acheiveable by 2050.

It is going further than the executives current proposals to reach 40% by 2020 but as Nicol says these plans are 'deliberately bold', adding: 'Apollo to the Moon was a challenge.'

Ross Henderson, of the renewable energy company Ocean Power Delivery, backed up the Lib Dem proposal saying:

"It's absolutely possible, but it requires a complete change in Scotland's infrastructure. We welcome the pledge, and it's not such a wacky suggestion. The technology is now starting to become available and a lot of progress has been made on renewables in the last ten years. Scotland has the potential to become a world leader in wave energy."

Martyn Williams, of the campaign group Friends of the Earth, is another who welcomed the pledge. He said:

"It's very ambitious, but it is possible. For this to work, it would have to be done as a mix of onshore wind farms, solar power, offshore turbines and hydroelectricity. Studies have shown that it could be done and we have the space in Scotland to do it."

However, other parties do not share the view of these experts. Richard Lochhead, the SNP's energy spokesman in the Scottish Parliament said it lacked ambition they had pledged to make Scotland 'all-renewable' by 2050. However, a main thrust of SNP funding for an independent Scotland is meant to be coming from Scotland's oil and gas, so how does that work if they are committed to defending the planet.

The Tories are not talking the Dave Cameron talk. Their energy spokesman Alex Johnstone, dismissed it as "pie in the sky". He said:

"This will have damaging implications for industry and the economy, particularly as the technology is nowhere near ready to achieve that."

Maybe he should listen to people like Ross Henderson of Ocean Power Delivery and others who say that the technology is ready to step up and deliver. As Martyn Williams of FotE says it needs the right balance. Mr Johnstone and his fellow Tories should stop listening to the petroleum and oil bosses whose money helps finance the Tory party and look at reality.

1 comment:

Carlos said...

I suggest that the key to reaching a 100% target is energy storage. Renewables are great, but they presently suffer derision because they are not despatchable (i.e. available on demand for the evening peak).
Energy storage comes at a cost, UNLESS, we think laterally and piggyback on the iminent electric car wave. V2G (vehicle to grid) is the answer - to an awful lot of problems.
If we get to the point 10 or 15 years from now where 20% of cars are electric, but not V2G compatible, it will be a huge opportunity lost.


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