This week Bosco Santimano, founder and executive director of social enterprise You Can Cook, shares his thoughts on renewable energy.
Having covered making Scotland GMO free and a 100 per cent organic country as part of our vision, I can now focus on our third and final vision for the country – to make Scotland produce 100 per cent of its energy requirements through renewables.
Is this possible you may ask? Yes! It is, as long as so-called experts and professionals working in the oil companies are not sitting on government-funded boards and institutions that are in charge of energy security of the nation.
We have to move away from fossil fuels if we are to survive into the next century. Climate change is real and if we don’t reverse our current habits and lifestyles then there is no chance of survival for our species on this planet.
We currently know of at least seven forms of renewable sources of energy: solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, ocean thermal, bio energy and hydrogen.
Scotland is well placed geographically on these islands to be in a position to produce renewables through all the above clean energy sources including solar!
Scotland got more than two-thirds (68.1 per cent) of its electricity from green sources in 2017, an increase of 26 per cent from the previous year! Its not rocket science.
We can achieve our target so long as we pour money into research and development, training, manufacturing and other industries connected to the renewable sector. We could be a nation that leads by example and provide our expertise to other countries to help support them make the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.
The Scottish government is aiming to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s gross annual electricity consumption by 2020. Scotland has already met the 2015, 50 per cent interim target and is also looking to provide the equivalent of 11 per cent of Scotland’s heat demand by 2020 through renewable sources.
Many of us are not aware that governments across the globe still provide massive subsidies to major oil companies and these are normally in the form of tax rebates/exemptions and tax credits for job creation.
The whole of the UK could have benefited when oil was first discovered in the North Sea but alas, vested interests both in government and corporations squandered the wealth of the nation on the few.
If the UK had followed Norway’s lead, we would probably be sitting on a similar $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund generated through oil alone. But, unfortunately, we cannot do anything about it now but hopefully hold those responsible at Westminster and stop them repeating the same mistake twice.
Local councils across this country should be given incentives to promote and encourage green energy usage, with households getting rebates on their council tax bills as one option.
Low-income households should be supported with this scheme otherwise they will be penalised just as they are now through our unfair current council tax bands and prepayment meters, while the well-off will reap the tax benefits once again!
*Originally written & published in the Peeblesshire News.