Debate on renewable energy targets

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Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee convener Murdo Fraser confirmed the Scottish government's target of meeting the equivalent of 100% of Scotland's electricity demand from renewable sources by 2020 could be met, subject to a number of issues being addressed.

The Conservative MSP was leading the debate on the committee's report on the achievability of the targets on 21 February 2013.

Mr Fraser said the committee had concerns about other renewables targets including local and community ownership targets which it had felt should be separate targets.

He said amongst the issues that needed to be addressed to reach the 2020 target included planning.

Mr Fraser he noted that higher planning fees would come into effect in April subject to parliamentary approval, in an effort to address the "squeeze on resources" local authority planning departments were facing.

He concluded his opening remarks by saying he hoped the committee's recommendations were helpful to the government and a useful contribution to the "ongoing and very lively debate" on renewables in Scotland.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing warmly welcomed the committee's central finding on electricity generation by 2020, that it was possible.

Mr Ewing pointed out the targets were not only about reducing carbon emissions but also about jobs and investment, the cost of energy to consumers and energy security.

He said Scotland's renewables' output, especially off shore wind, could play a vital role in helping "to keep the lights on across the UK".

The second part of the debate can be viewed below:

Renewable energy targets debate 2

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