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Scotland: Green campaign means lower bills

May 15, 2012 at 5:59 AM

EDINBURGH, Scotland, May 15 (UPI) -- An ambitious renewable energy program in the United Kingdom is needed to keep household energy bills low, the Scottish energy minister said.

Scotland aims to derive 100 percent of its electricity demand through renewable energy projects by 2020. The government estimates it met 35 percent of its electricity demand last year through renewable energy resources.

The British Department of Energy and Climate Change has said that by 2020, consumers' bills should be about $150 lower per year than they would be if renewable energy programs weren't in place.

"Renewable energy is vital to Scotland and to the rest of the U.K.," Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said in a statement. "It is essential if we are to keep bills down for ordinary families, boost the economy and meet our climate change targets."

Scotland last year exported more than 20 percent of its electricity to the rest of the United Kingdom. Ewing said that figure should increase as more renewable energy programs come on stream.

"We should take advantage of Scotland's competitive edge in the renewable energy revolution," he said.

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