Scotland’s Renewable Energy Push

Is Biomass the answer to Scotland’s Energy Plans?

At the start of this year, the Scottish government made headlines by announcing that they intended to massively cut their use of fossil fuels.

By 2030, the Scottish National Party hopes to be sourcing half of all it’s energy from low-carbon providers.

Whilst the country has already made great progress in terms of renewable electricity (60% of the country’s power is provided through the use of windfarms and other such means) they still have a long way to go in terms replacing the use of fossil fuels which is being used by motorists and homeowners.

At the start of the year nearly 50% of the country’s total energy use was sourced from petrol based products – mostly pulled from oil rigs off the North Sea. This might not sound too bad, but it’s worth remembering that another 27% of this total is made up of home-grown and imported gas that heats thousands of homes throughout Scotland.

Setting these Green goals are admirable, however are they realistic, considering the country’s dependency on this form of energy as well as their prolific production of it?

Ever since the 70s, Scotland has been one of the biggest producers of oil in Europe, producing well over 40 billion barrels of the stuff – with another 24 estimated to by lying under the UK Continental Shelf.

Since then, extraction methods have vastly improved, leading the rate of production to be increased alongside it. With over 200,000 people employed in this massive industry, it’s not about to disappear any time soon.

Although the politicians can set goals and limit the way the country imports undesirable forms of energy; if the country is going to reach this ambitious target then the consumers will need to change their behaviour. Homeowners in Scotland, who have become dependent on gas and oil, will need to change their habits if these targets are going be met  – something they are not likely to do, unless they are given a reasonable alternative to switch to.

One option, yet to be fully embraced by consumers, comes from the world of Plant Science . This option could prove to be the intermediary between traditional energy and renewable production that Scottish homeowners would be comfortable with adopting: biomass.

One of the most common and practical forms of Biomass fuel that has been implemented in England so far is the use of wood pellet fuel.

Although most wood pellet fuel is produced outside of the United Kingdom, in countries such as Scandinavia, Austria and Finland; Scotland and the rest of the UK are slowly catching up with the rest of Europe, as the energy sources is becoming better known amongst consumers and businesses.

Scotland is a country that prides itself on it’s heritage. The wealth of traditions that are passed down through each family are as valuable as the physical assets that are written into last wills. It’s through this reverence for tradition that the Scottish people can be targeted.

By bringing the wood burning stove back to the Scottish kitchen, the government can not only hope to reach their 2030 target, but can also work to reclaim a part of their earlier heritage that otherwise might have been relegated to the past.