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Lack of Labour ambition on renewables disappointing - Swinson

December 12, 2006 4:25 PM

Scotland is leading the way for the UK in tackling climate change, and can run on 100% renewable electricity by 2050, believes Jo Swinson MP.

Speaking in the House of Commons today, Ms Swinson asked Scottish Secretary Douglas Alexander:

"Scotland is leading the way for the UK in tackling climate change, for example with much more ambitious targets for renewable energy generation, 40% by 2020 - which we are on course to exceed.

"Does the Minister agree that DEFRA and other Government departments can learn from the Scottish example and that in Scotland we can go even further and meet 100% of Scotland's electricity needs from renewable sources by 2050?"

The Secretary of State praised current Scottish achievements in renewable electricity generation but refused to commit to a target of 100% renewable electricity by 2050.

Commenting after Scottish Questions, Jo Swinson said:

"In September, Nicol Stephen set a target of meeting 100% of Scotland's electricity needs from renewable sources by 2050. This target is bold but achievable. Scotland is already expected to meet its target of 18% renewable energy by 2010 three years ahead of schedule. This is compared to the timid UK target of 10% by 2010.

"A mix of sources will be needed: onshore wind, offshore wind, wave, tidal and others. Microgeneration should be installed in each building in Scotland. In the short term, energy supplies will need to be decentralised to capture the heat energy from existing fossil fuel power stations, 60% of which is currently wasted.

"Scotland's energy future lies with renewables - clean, safe and making use of Scotland's natural resources. It is hugely disappointing that Labour are displaying such a lack of ambition for Scotland on this issue."

The Scottish Executive has set targets to meet Scotland's energy needs of 18% by 2010 and 40% by 2020. Nicol Stephen announced the target of 100% of electricity from renewable sources by 2050 in the Scottish Liberal Democrats' Autumn 2006 Pre-Manifesto 'Bright Future: A Vision for Scotland'.

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