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Blog Post 30 November 2020

Celebrating Scotland’s green energy credentials on St Andrew’s Day

Scotland will be raising a glass to toast Andrew, its apostle and patron saint, on 30 November. Legend has it his remains were buried in a chapel in his namesake Fife town, and he was apparently crucified on an X-shaped cross; hence Scotland’s saltire flag. Aside from that, very little else is known about the saint.

Perhaps a greater reason to toast Scotland this St Andrew’s Day is the country’s admirable green energy credentials.

Testament to this is the recent news that three of Britain’s energy giants intend to build underwater power cables to bring Scotland’s vast renewable energy reserves to millions of homes in England.

The energy ‘superhighway’ could help achieve Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s target of using offshore wind energy to power every UK home by 2030.

Leading in renewables and energy efficiency

Scotland undoubtedly leads the way when it comes to green energy. The Committee on Climate Change – an independent, statutory body – stated that it regularly outperforms the rest of the UK when it comes to slashing carbon emissions.

Why is this? Well, there’s no doubt that power generation is a major factor. Five years ago, renewables became Scotland’s largest power source. And, in 2018, Scottish Power became the first major UK energy company to generate all its electricity from wind.

Scotland has a target of net zero emissions by 2045, five years earlier than the rest of the UK, and activity is already underway to meet that target. The Scottish Government’s Home Energy Scotland programme, which Energy Saving Trust delivers, provides free, impartial advice on energy efficiency, renewable energy, greener travel and reducing water waste.

The service also offers a range of interest-free loans for energy saving home improvements, as well as ebikes, electric vehicles and home chargepoints. The programme has saved over 6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide since 2008, and has saved customers more than £1 billion in energy bills.

Other targets, such as recycling 70% of all waste by 2025 with a maximum of 5% to landfill, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds over the next 12 years, have given rise to organisations such as Zero Waste Scotland, which carries out vital work in cutting industry and consumer waste, and Keep Scotland Beautiful, who campaign for environmental behaviour change.

Delivering programmes in Scotland

We have played a big part too, through our involvement in several successful Scottish programmes.

We’re aiming to be at the forefront of the climate change reduction journey in Scotland until 2050, and for many years after.

Happy St Andrew’s Day.