September 2021

Written by:

Steven Livingston

Steven Livingston

Account Director

COP26 – is Scotland ready for the transition to clean energy?

The nights are drawing in and winter is fast approaching, and with this has come the unhappy news that the UK’s supply of natural gas is worryingly low and, consequently, very expensive. A perfect storm of events has depleted the UK’s supply, including unscheduled pipe maintenance, high demand globally and diplomatic road blocks. 

Immediate efforts are focussed on ensuring that the knock on effects of this do not hit our food supply chain and plunge more people into fuel poverty. However, we also need to look to the future and with the United Nations Climate Change Conference – or COP26 as it’s better known – just around the corner, the transition to clean energy is high on the political agenda.  

The current situation will raise questions about our energy mix and our possible over-reliance on fossil fuels. It will also likely increase calls for both the UK and Scottish Governments to do more to support the wide range of renewable energy sources at our disposal. Indeed, witnessing the fragility of the energy market at this time, there are few people who would argue that having a more diverse energy mix inclusive of more renewable energy would be a bad thing. 

Scotland is certainly leading the UK in terms of ambition for renewable energy generation. The Scottish Government has set a target of 50% of Scotland’s energy to be supplied from renewable sources by 2030. It has also set a Net Zero target of 2045, five years earlier than the UK Government’s. These are ambitious targets and cynics may scoff at them, but if we are not ambitious then we will not make progress at the pace required to reverse the climate crisis. 

Not everyone considers the new SNP-Green co-operation agreement to be a happy union (no pun intended), but it will undoubtedly support the drive to Net Zero and increased growth in renewable energy. At the start of 2020, Scotland had 11.8GW of installed renewable electricity capacity, producing 25% of total UK renewable generation. Following the co-operation agreement, the Scottish Government committed to increasing this contribution by securing between 8 and 12GW of onshore wind capacity by 2030, in addition to 11GW of offshore wind capacity. 

At Liberty One we take immense pride in our own significant contribution to the renewable energy sector. In onshore wind projects alone, we have helped to secure over 1GW of renewable energy capacity. We have supported developments of all kinds, from small turbines to some of the largest and highest profile wind farms in Scotland.  

We are well placed to support your renewable energy developments through the planning process, and help you engage national and local government. Crucially, we place a strong emphasis on active and ongoing consultation with the communities and stakeholders at the heart of Scotland’s renewable energy movement. We combine insight with influence and utilise our in-house digital and creative teams to change minds when it matters most.  

Without a doubt we will continue to work closely with the renewable energy sector in Scotland to support the growth and do our bit as part of the collective movement towards Net Zero. Should you require any assistance, please contact us here. 

Find out more about our onshore wind projects here.