Renewable energy generation in Scotland reached record levels in 2018, providing the equivalent of 75 per cent of gross electricity consumption.
Scotland was the fourth largest green energy consumer in the whole of the European Union in 2016 – with 54 per cent of our electricity provided by renewables, over twice as much as the average for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
We will now go further. By 2030 we will aim for the equivalent of 50 per cent of the energy for Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity consumption to be supplied from renewable sources.
To ensure we continue to lead the way, we have committed £60 million to an Innovation Fund to support the delivery of innovative low carbon energy infrastructure projects, such as electric vehicle charging or sustainable heating systems.
In our Programme for Government we announced new support and regulation to increase the use of renewable heat in Scotland, including a new £30 million Low Carbon Heat Funding Invitation and a commitment to ensure new homes from 2024 use renewable or low carbon heat.
To encourage innovation in the offshore wind sector, particularly to reduce costs, £2 million of Scottish Government funding was announced last year.
Scotland is already home to the world’s first large-scale tidal energy farm, a project that has been backed with £23 million Scottish Government funding.
And to support the hydro sector to grow further, we have introduced a new 60 per cent business rates relief for hydro energy generation properties.
We’re supporting community ownership of renewables too. In 2011 we set a target for 500 MW of electricity capacity to be in local and community ownership by 2020. We have now surpassed that target by a third and will now aim for 1 GW of community and locally owned energy by 2020.