Department of Energy and Climate Change figures released this morning (Sept 25) show three per cent of the country’s warmth came from biomass, solar thermal panels, energy from waste and heat pumps in 2012. That figure in 2011 was 2.6%.
But with a target of 11% by 2020, the sector has been left behind, according to Stephanie Clark, Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables.
She said: “While Scotland has made great strides towards its 100% 2020 renewable electricity target, our objective of generating 11% of heat from renewables remains worryingly out of reach. Renewable heat has been left behind. Half the energy we use goes on creating warmth, but a sector which has such an important role to play in combating climate change and reducing fuel poverty is not even considered important enough to be included as one of the Scottish Government’s National Indicators of progress. Currently we just do not see the capacity coming forward which will allow us to hit the 2020 target and capitalise on the reductions in fuel poverty and carbon emissions which achieving it would bring”.
The introduction of the domestic element of the Renewable Heat Incentive in the spring (2014) provided financial incentives for homeowners to install renewable technologies, while the Scottish Government’s Heat Generation Policy Statement, due to be published early next year, will provide a roadmap for the industry.
Miss Clark added: “Positive moves are being made, but more needs to be done to raise awareness of the benefits of renewable heat and ensure the sector is at the top of the political agenda if we are to succeed in hitting our climate change targets”.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change Energy Trends report also shows Scotland’s renewable electricity generation in the first half of 2014 was 30% higher than the same period in 2013, primarily due to a 50% increase in hydro generation and a 20% increase in wind output. Additionally, the Energy Trends report shows renewables met 46.4% of Scotland’s gross electricity consumption in 2013.
Joss Blamire, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, added: “These electricity figures show Scotland is on track to meet its interim target of 50 per cent by 2015, and demonstrates the huge positive impact renewables are having on improving our economy and reducing the carbon emissions which cause climate change”.