Scotland has the natural resources it needs to lead the world in producing renewable energy. We could do even better- but staying within the UK is holding us back.
Renewable energy is essential to the future of our planet and Scotland has already carved a place in the forefront of the power revolution. It is now a global leader in sourcing electricity from its substantial natural resources.
Such is its commitment to the importance of renewable energy that in 2019, Scotland became the first country in the world to declare a climate emergency.
Renewable energy accounted for 97.4% of Scotland’s total gross electricity consumption in 2020.
The renewable energy industry contributes £5.9bn to Scotland’s economy, employing more than 21,400 people throughout the country. It is predicted to expand exponentially in the next few years. It is the cheapest form of energy and in an independent Scotland powered by renewables, energy would be far cheaper. We also pay higher standing charges and pay more to connect to the National Grid in Scotland despite producing a surplus of energy.
Scotland has been able to become a major force in the renewable sector because it has so many natural sources of energy.
Scotland possesses 20% (equivalent) of all planned offshore wind capacity in the EU and 10% of its wave energy potential. It accounts for 85% of the UK’s hydroelectric power generation and 60% of the UK’s installed onshore wind capacity
But we could do even better. You might think that a time when the global focus is on tackling the threat posed by climate change having the advantage of all those natural energy resources would mean Scotland would be looking forward to a bright and successful future.
However once again Scotland’s position within the UK is holding us back. Investment in UK renewable energy actually fell by 57% in 2017 because of a Westminster ban on renewable subsidies for onshore wind and cuts to solar power subsidies.
Recently, the cost of onshore wind power fell by 13% and offshore by 9% BUT household energy bills have increased by 96% since winter 2021/22 and are expected to rise further when the price cap ends in March 2023.
The UK government prefers to invest in nuclear power plants such as Hinkley Point in England instead of renewables.
Only independence will allow Scotland to take the steps necessary to reach its full potential as one of the world’s foremost suppliers of renewable energy.
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