Skip to main content
Observer Ethical awards Winners 2011

YouGen Blog

Scotland eclipses rest of UK in green energy transition

Posted by Alison Vickers on 12 December 2018 at 4:34 pm

Previously we highlighted how Scotland created 68% of its electricity via renewable energy in 2017, making it a world leader in sourcing electricity from renewables. This figure was an increase of 26% on the year before. With many projects still awaiting completion, we argued then that it’s fair to say that the future is bright north of the border.

Recent research would suggest that this prophecy is already being fulfilled, with Scotland always seeming to be one step ahead of the game. Recently, the Scottish Government committed the country to cutting its emissions by 90% by 2050, with the rest of the UK only aiming for an 80% reduction in the same period. Similarly, the ban on selling new petrol/diesel vehicles will come into force by 2032 in Scotland, rather than the 2040 deadline set by Westminster. Last month Zero Waste Scotland revealed that in 2017, Scotch households reduced the amount of waste they produced, and recycled more than ever, resulting in the lowest carbon impacts for household waste since the Carbon Metric began measuring in 2011. A diverse range of public figures have also been keen to point out the business case for going green, highlighting how operating sustainably can be key to becoming more profitable and energy-efficient.

It is of course widely acknowledged by environmental campaigners that challenges remain for Scotland in meeting their ambitious goals. Targets for tree-planting and peatland restoration have been missed repeatedly. Many have suggested that the nation should commit to reducing emissions by 100% by 2050, if the 2015 Paris Agreement is to be adhered to.

Yet it’s fair to say that Scotland is currently leading the way in policy commitment compared to the rest of the UK. This begs the question of what can the rest of the union learn from the Scottish example?

There is clearly a strong will for green energy adoption from amongst the public throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The UK Government’s 25th survey of the Energy and Climate Change Public Attitudes Tracker (PAT) revealed that individual backing for the use of renewable energy had reached a record of 85% - the highest level of support for renewables since the tracker began in 2012.  It also reported the joint-lowest figure for people against green energy technology.  

An obvious way forward would be for all countries within the union to match the Scottish Government’s policy commitments. Although these policies are by no means perfect, they’re surely the UK’s best shot at a green future. Such a shift would improve urban air quality, business and employment opportunities and commitment to climate change targets. As Ørsted’s Green Energy Barometer illustrates, renewable energy can even influence feelings of patriotism and national pride at leading the way in sustainability.

Holyrood have effectively produced an ambitious set of policies which despite their faults, can act as a blueprint for change. As author Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”.


Related articles

What can we learn from Cota Rica?

Portugal reaps the rewards of renewables in 2018

Positive UK renewables energy percentage in Q2 2018

About the author: Alison joined The National Energy Foundation in 2017 as a Households and Communities Project Officer. With a BA in English and Politics and an MA in Environmental Politics from Keele University, Alison plays a key role in the delivery of the Better Housing Better Health service andGawcott Solar - two charitable projects coordinated by The Foundation. 

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

Like this blog? Keep up to date with our free monthly newsletter


4 comments - read them below or add one


TaniyaWilsonComment left on: 18 August 2020 at 11:03 am

This is a decent post. This post gives genuinely quality data. I'm unquestionably going to investigate it. Los Angeles Escort Services Actually quite valuable tips are given here. Much thanks to you to such an extent. Keep up the acts of kindness.  

report abuse


TaniyaWilsonComment left on: 18 August 2020 at 11:02 am

We have many clients who regularly use our Hong Kong Escorts to book an erotic escort in Hong Kong for their private party and night fun.  

report abuse


TaniyaWilsonComment left on: 18 August 2020 at 11:01 am

I am really enjoying reading your well-written articles. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. New York Escort Agency I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work.  

report abuse


MarkSindoneComment left on: 10 May 2019 at 10:38 pm

I hope that the world is smart enough to learn from the companies that are making headway in the green movement instead of just ooh-ing and ah-ing at them. It makes sense for all of us to learn from each other for the benefit of everybody right? At the end of the day, it doesn't help if only one country or one part of the world is focused in doing something that makes a difference if someone else is going to undo all that good by not trying to help.

report abuse

Leave a comment

You must log in to make a comment. If you haven't already registered, please sign up as a company or an individual, then come back and have your say.