Scotland Takes Steps to Meet Half of All Its Energy Needs from Renewables by 2030

In a new national energy plan, Scotland is cutting its reliance on North Sea oil and is aiming to use renewable energy to power 50 percent of its electricity, transportation, and heating sectors by 2030.

Thanks to a rapid expansion of onshore and offshore wind energy facilities, Scotland now supplies 60 percent of its electricity needs using renewables. But the governing Scottish National Party, reversing decades of support for developing North Sea oil, has set a goal of slashing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 66 percent by 2032. Roughly 74 percent of Scotland’s total energy use now comes from North Sea oil and imports of oil and natural gas.

The key challenge, analysts say, is whether Scotland can rapidly transition the transportation and heating sectors off fossil fuels and onto renewable energy. In order to meet the ambitious transportation goals, the country would have to embrace a large-scale rollout of electric vehicles and invest in technologies such as hydrogen-powered buses.