Scottish renewables support plan unveiled

Executive proposes reduced renewables purchase obligation, hesitates over energy from waste

Scottish environment minister Sam Galbraith today confirmed plans to require 5% of electricity sales to be supplied from new renewables by 2010. Under draft proposals now out to consultation, this is to be achieved through a proposed renewables purchase obligation on utilities similar to one proposed by the UK industry ministry for England and Wales last month (ENDS Daily 5 October).

Scotland's draft target is significantly lower than the industry ministry's UK-wide target of 7.7% by 2010. This suggests that a higher obligation will have to be imposed on utilities in England and Wales if the government's target for 10% of UK electricity generation to be renewable by 2010 is to be met.

According to the Scottish executive, while some respondents to an earlier consultation called for the renewables obligation to be set higher, others "opposed an extension of renewable energy use in Scotland" because renewable energy - virtually all large-scale hydro - already contributes 11% of Scottish power generation, which is higher than the UK's 10% target.

On top of an already planned increase in the share of renewables to 13% by 2003, the executive continues, the proposed Scottish renewables obligation should increase renewables' share of generation in Scotland to 18% by 2010.

Most other aspects of the proposals are closely modelled on the UK industry ministry plan. However, the executive stresses that it has yet to decide whether energy from waste should be included in the purchase obligation, whereas it is to be excluded in England and Wales.

* In another development, the Scottish environmental protection agency (SEPA) has been granted powers to serve enforcement notices. Until now, SEPA has been able to address non-compliance with pollution discharge licences through warnings, revocation of licences and legal prosecution but it has not been able to require companies or public bodies to take preventive action to avert likely non-compliance. It can now do so, including the issuing of requirements for licence-holders to complete maintenance plans.

Follow Up:
Scottish executive, tel: +44 131 556 8400, and renewables consultation document; SEPA, tel: +44 17 86 45 77 00, and press release.

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