Scotland ups green energy ante

Oct. 31, 2012 at 7:04 AM

GLASGOW, Scotland, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- The Scottish government has set a target of meeting half of its electricity demands through renewable energy resources by 2015.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond told a renewable energy conference in Glasgow that the government had set a new renewables target.

"When I became first minister in 2007, I inherited a target for 50 percent of Scotland's electricity to be produced by renewable sources by 2020," he said. "We now know that we can achieve much more than that, more quickly, having already exceeded our 2011 target."

Scotland set a goal of achieving 100 percent of its electricity needs through renewable energy projects by 2020, one of the most ambitious benchmarks in the world.

Salmond said the 2015 interim target follows a report from the British Department of Energy and Climate Change that indicated Scotland met 35 percent of its electricity demand from renewables last year, beating its previous interim target by 4 percentage points.

"The Scottish government understands that renewable energy is essential for energy security, for environmental sustainability and for economic prosperity," Salmond said. "For that reason, I can guarantee that we will continue to provide leadership and support for everything that you are doing here in Scotland."

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