Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Scottish renewable energy targets may be politically unachievable under independence says expert study

Just published by the Political Quarterly is a paper (with myself as lead author) which discusses how independence would make it unlikely that  the Westminster Government would continue to pay the incentives required for Scotland to reach its renewable energy targets. These include a target of sourcing 100 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2020.

The abstract of the paper says:

Political support for renewable energy development, especially offshore renewables, is particularly conspicuous in Scotland and is a centrepiece of SNP policy. However, this is built on something of a paradox because, put simply, without the subsidies paid by electricity consumers in the rest of the UK, the Scottish Government's ambitious targets for renewable energy would be politically unachievable. We argue in this paper that if Scotland does move towards independence, then there could be little reason for the UK to continue paying (much) of the subsidies since the resulting renewable generation would no longer contribute towards UK renewable energy targets. We suggest that the potential scenarios, and their implications, needs to be far better considered in the arguments around the Scottish constitutional position and the broader aims of UK energy policy.

You can read the full paper on: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-923X.2013.02431.x/full

The paper flows from an ESRC project studying the impact of devolution on renewable energy policy. The project was based on collaboration between researchers in the University of Cardiff, Queens University Belfast, Robert Gordon University, and the UNiversity of Birmingham.

There has been widespread coverage of the paper on Scottish independence and renewable energy. See, for example,:

http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/salmond-told-green-targets-impossible-without-uk-cash.20150454

theguardian
http://m.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/11/scotland-green-energy-renewables-alex-salmond

Scotsman.com
http://www.scotsman.com/the-scotsman/politics/renewables-targets-unachievable-after-yes-vote-1-2784328

greenwise
http://www.greenwisebusiness.co.uk/news/independence-would-threaten-scotlands-renewables-target-3789.aspx

blue&greentomorrow
http://blueandgreentomorrow.com/2013/02/11/scotland-independence-renewable-energy-uk/

newsrt
http://www.newsrt.co.uk/news/renewables-targets-unachievable-after-yes-vote-1205101.html

News@all-energy
http://www.all-energy.co.uk/en/2013-Exhibitor-Directory/2013-Exhibitor-Profile/2013-Custom-Object-Profile/?coId=7130

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