FACTS & FIGURES I
Map copyright the Scottish Wind Assesment Project
The Scottish Executive
As part of the initiative to reduce greenhouse gases, the Scottish Executive has set a target for 40% of Scotland's energy requirements to come from renewable sources by 2020. It is made clear in the Scottish Executive statement “Securing a Renewable Future: Scotland's Renewable Energy” of March 2003 that this target should be achieved by a diverse mix of technologies, and that there should be an emphasis on utilising marine sources.
However this target, combined with the clear financial incentive provided by the Renewables Obligation (Scotland), has resulted in very large numbers of onshore wind farm developments being proposed. So many that, despite the Scottish Executive's clear expectation (see above) that the 2020 target should be met by ‘a diverse mix of technologies' , there are currently 363 on shore wind projects in the planning or pre-planning stages, which would generate around 8000MW of electricity ( Sunday Herald 18th Jan 2004 ). When compared to Scotland's peak winter demand of less than 6000MW, it is clear that the current large number of applications and proposals is out of all proportion to the targets set.
The 2020 target of 40% equates to around 3500mw of capacity. Currently, according to the Scottish Executive's Renewables Database (www.scotland.gov.uk/enterprise/energy/), there is 207MW produced by onshore wind farms already in operation, with another 552MW of capacity, which has received consent. If you include the 180MW from the offshore wind farm at Robin Rigg in the Solway Firth, there is nearly 1000MW of consented renewable capacity already. These figures make it clear that by 2004 great strides have been made toward the 2020 targets by wind farms. It is evident therefore, that not every proposal for a wind farm is vital to the satisfaction of the 40% target, and consequently it is important that wind farm developments are not allowed to ride roughshod over other priorities, of equal or greater importance.
DTI for Scotland's generation for 2002
Total electricity generated in Scotland in 2002 – 49,606 GWh