The SNP is developing an ambitious and long term Scottish energy strategy which will be implement over the next Parliament and beyond.
The strategy will aim to make electricity cleaner, more affordable and more secure for all consumers. The strategy will take a “whole system view” and encompass demand reduction, energy efficiency, a balanced energy generation mix, a role for storage, and the requirement for a low carbon transition in transport and heat use.
The SNP will develop creative approaches – for example, examinikng collective switching models and group buying of energy with an emphasis on those off-grid.
As part of their work with stakeholders to develop the strategy they will seriously and carefully consider the proposal from industry body Scottish Renewables for Scotland to set a target of 50 per cent of all energy to come from renewables by 2030.
The SNP have championed green energy and worked closely with industry, communities and consumers to maximise the benefits of renewable electricity generation.
Since 2007 total output of renewable electricity has more than doubled, and 57.7 per cent of Scotland’s electricity needs now comes from renewables – exceeding our target of 50 per cent by 2015.
Between 2010 and 2014, £14.2 billion of investment has been announced in the Scottish renewables sector, driven by our target that 100 percent of Scotland’s electricity needs will come from renewables by 2020.
The SNP pledge to continue to support new wave energy technology through Wave Energy Scotland and the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney – welcoming the fact that oil and gas companies are using their expertise, especially in subsea, to help take forward renewable energy developments.
The manifesto goes on to state:
We will work with Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to further develop the use of expertise from the oil and gas sector in developing renewable energy.
We work closely with the Solar Trade Association to advance proposals for expanding solar energy in Scotland. And we will also continue to promote biomass as a good use of our forestry products for energy.
We will also explore the creation of a Scottish Renewable Energy Bond in order to allow savers to invest in and support Scotland’s renewable energy sector.
We are working with Scotland’s Islands communities to ensure they can release their huge renewable energy potential.
We will continue to press the UK Government to progress the necessary EU permissions and bring forward a viable package of support that will facilitate the vital grid connections to the Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles.
Community Benefits and Community Owned Energy Our Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) has empowered communities throughout Scotland to own and manage renewables projects.
We will work to support the further growth of community and locally owned renewable energy projects, with new targets of 1 GW of community and locally-owned energy by 2020, and 2 GW by 2030.
We will ensure that by 2020, at least half of newly consented renewable energy projects will have an element of shared ownership. And we will argue for Scottish control of our share of feed-in tariffs to help promote community ownership schemes.
We will explore the potential to create a government owned energy company to help the growth of local and community energy projects. This will include empowering communities to use the income from energy developments to support other communities develop their energy potential.
View the manifesto in full