Renewable energy cheaper, Scotland says

March 5, 2012 at 9:21 AM
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EDINBURGH, Scotland, March 5 (UPI) -- Energy bills for consumers in Scotland could be as much 7 percent higher if the government didn't pursue its renewable energy strategy, a minister said.

Scotland has some of the most ambitious renewable energy targets in Europe. The government aims to meet 100 percent of the electricity demand through renewable energy resources by 2020.

A report from the Scottish government concludes that consumers would pay around $2,035 per year for energy bills by 2020 under the low-carbon policies. If the government pursues a "business as usual" model, bills would be around $2,182 per year.

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said there are some doubts as to whether the government can meet its renewable energy targets but they are achievable.

"We know there is doubt and skepticism about our 100 percent renewables target and the financial and engineering challenges required to meet it," he said in a statement.

"But we will meet these challenges. I want to debate, engage and cooperate with every knowledgeable, interested and concerned party to ensure we achieve our goals."

Ewing added renewable energy targets would be met without the need for new nuclear power stations.

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