Ramping up renewables generation
Plans to increase onshore wind capacity published ahead of COP26.
The proposals, first outlined in the co-operation agreement between the Scottish Government and the Scottish Green Party, are set out in a draft Onshore Wind Policy Statement.
They would secure an additional 8-12 Gigawatts (GW) of installed onshore wind capacity by 2030. Scotland currently has 8.4GW of installed onshore capacity.
Additional capacity is possible primarily due to technological advancements in turbines, which are now larger and more efficient than many currently in use and coming to the end of their operational life
Speaking on a visit to Kype Muir Wind Farm in Strathaven, Net Zero and Energy Secretary Michael Matheson said:
“We need bold action to tackle the climate emergency. Onshore wind is one of the most cost-effective forms of large-scale electricity generation and is vital to Scotland's future energy mix as we transition to a net-zero economy.
“Our draft Onshore Wind Policy Statement outlines the huge potential for this technology, and assesses the significant economic opportunity of future deployment, particularly in light of our green recovery aspirations.
“I would urge everyone, from businesses to communities to individuals, to take part in the consultation to support the work we are doing to help secure a greener, fairer future for everyone in Scotland.”
Green Skills Minister Lorna Slater said:
“The Scottish Government is committed to an economic recovery from COVID-19 that is both green and fair. The growth of the onshore wind sector presents us with an opportunity to secure further good, green jobs.
“By acting now, we can set Scotland on a pathway to meeting our climate change targets in a way that supports a Just Transition and delivers opportunities for all.
“Scotland has excellent onshore wind expertise and is recognised as having one of the best systems in the world in which to deploy wind farms. The changes we are proposing will build on this to make Scotland even more attractive for wind developers and the wider supply chain industry.”
The draft Onshore Wind Policy Statement is available on the Scottish Government website. The consultation on the Statement runs until 21 January 2022.
The recent Renewables UK Onshore Wind Prospectus suggests that approximately 17,000 jobs and the equivalent of £27.8 billion in GVA could be achieved through the deployment of an additional 12GW of onshore wind capacity by 2030.