Scotland Just Hit Australia's 2030 Renewable Energy Target In 2014

Earlier this year Bill Shorten unveiled a bold plan to bring 50% of Australia's electricity generated by renewable sources by 2030. A plan he said would be shot down by scare tactics by the current government.

But the Scottish Government just announced it reached that same target. In 2014.

In 2014 49.7% of gross electrical consumption came from renewable sources, meaning that Scotland hit its 2015 target a year early. That's an 11.9% increase on the 2013 figure.

“Today’s figures show that Scotland’s renewables sector is stronger than ever and our early adoption of clean, green energy technology and infrastructure was the right thing to do," said Scotland' Energy Minister Fergus Ewing. "It is fantastic news that renewables are now Scotland’s biggest electricity generator, and that nearly half of gross electricity consumption comes from renewables."

Australia's current official renewable energy target is 22.5% by 2020. Bill Shorten wants to increase that to 50% by 2030, to be in line with more ambitious countries around the world.

Obviously there are differences between the countries -- Scotland potential as a natural resource base for renewable energy is high, with wind, wave and tide became the main sources of electricity. And compared the remainder of the United Kingdom, Scotland punches dramatically above its weight. Part of that has to do with the devolved Government's focus on green issues. The Conservative UK government hasn't put quite the same amount of faith into renewables as the Scottish Government.

The current Scottish government intends to push forward with its commitment to renewable energy.

“Despite damaging policy changes from the UK Government, we will continue to harness – and bolster – Scotland’s renewables potential, both in generation and infrastructure," said Fergus Ewing. "At the end of Q3 2015, there was 7,504 MW of installed renewables electricity capacity in Scotland, an increase of 4.6% over the year."

Australia's potential for renewables is high. Many peer reviewed studies believe it is feasible (and economically beneficial) for Australia to move towards 100% dependence on renewable energy.

Some countries are running close to 100% on renewable. Countries like Costa Rica, who recently announced that 99% of its electricity came from renewables. Ethiopia and Uruguay posted similar numbers and Denmark recently produced 140% of its electricity demand via wind turbines.

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    More proof that a rapid transition to renewables is possible and doesn't harm the economy.

    No information that Scotland has massive amounts of hydro that we can't get in Australia with our river systems. No mention that they get their baseload power from NUCLEAR POWER (over 30%) and coal. People can't take articles like this seriously unless they are a real analysis of what is being done and if comparable things can be done in Australia. Obviously we don't have nuclear power and we can't get any more hydro.

      12% Hydro in Scotland. Not very massive is it? Nuclear has been there for decades and the RET is about switching away from it. "The current Scottish National Party (SNP) government elected in 2007 has a 'no new nuclear power strategy'.
      Oh and did you even click the link for the "real analysis"

      "Obviously we don't have nuclear power and we can't get any more hydro."

      No, instead you have an untold wealth of sunshine. I believe this can be harnessed with those newfangled 'solar panels'.

      Try pulling your head out of your rear end and looking at what you do have rather than whining about what you don't like a whiney little whinebag.

    The population of Scotland is a lot tinier than ours and they're all packed into a much smaller area. It's massively easier for them to make big infrastructure changes that affect their entire population in a very short space of time compared to us.

      Most Aussies live in one of 6 large urban metropolises and can easily be serviced by local renewable energy sources. They are all pretty much coastal and therefore excellent for wind. Australia is also one on the best nations for solar in the world. We have plenty of space too. There have been countless studies done, we are ready to convert but alas our Government is under the control of the Mining Corporations. Instead of pushing renewables they are spouting clap trap about "coal being good for humanity" Instead of making plans for Zero C02 they are logging our last few native forests. Instead of doing something they are just using clever accounting to say we have met our targets. Oh and we have "Wind Commissioner" WTF century are we in? It’s just as easy to make big infrastructure changes for us as Scotland we have more resources, it’s just about having the will.

      BTW - I read a great article about how the climate sceptics haven't gone away, they have just moved camp. They are now all saying "we can't move to renewables, it's to hard, it's bad for the economy, or they don't work, or...." Same doubt mongering, same selective with the truth same just lie and make stuff up. Sound familiar?

    This is a silly comparison.
    Scotland has a much smaller population to Australia and therefore much smaller electricity demands. Wind turbines and solar panels are but a drop in the ocean in comparison to coal power stations. And no one wants to live anywhere near a wind turbine thanks to the noise they create.
    This is laughable at best.

    What a ridiculous comparison! Everyone knows Scotland is absolutely inundated with powerful sunshine.
    Oh wait...
    Maybe they just have a better class of politician. You know, the ones who put the people first, the ones who actually care about their grandkids.
    Why can South Australia do it, but the federal government is incapable?

    what rubbish. Most of the population lives in a relatively small area. Brisbane/Gold Coast is very similar in size to Glasgow/Edinburgh so the population density is very comparable when you consider the distribution of the population. Australia also has massive advantages in solar potential. It's an attitude problem not a practical problem

    Its hard to compare the two countries (Australia and Scotland) but not because they have one quarter of our population, because they simply have radically different conditions to ours. Across the nothern part of Scotland especially there are windfarms everywhere. Maybe they don't have that 'not in my backyard' mentality that halts progress so often in Australia. Are the windfarms ugly? No. Are they noisey?I couldn't say, I couldnt hear them over the sound of the wind! Does wind powered energy align with Scotland's natural environment? Sure does. Just like solar aligns to the Australian natural environment. So what is stopping the Australian government from harnessing that? I'm no expert, but my guess is greed. Oh and dont assume that because they have a population of 5 million that they use less energy, they use central heating year round and average only 5 hours of sunshine a day (averaged across a year) so they have their lights on a lot more than we do too.

    You can't sell coal to solar/wind/tide companies...

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