The Scottish Government's target of 100 per cent of electricity consumption generated by renewable sources by 2020 is aimed at reducing CO2 emissions and creating a world leading renewable energy industry supporting thousands of jobs. Scotland already has more than 11,000 people working to deliver renewable energy projects. But it is also designed to improve the country's energy security. The UK government shares this desire to improve energy security by reducing dependence on energy and fuels bought from other countries.
Demand for energy will rise (by at least 50% by 2030) as developing countries, including China and India, seek to fuel their economic growth.
The global population is predicted to reach 9.1 billion by 2050 - up from 7.2 billion today. At the same time, demand for energy may rise by around 50 per cent by 2040 as developing countries, including China and India, seek to fuel their economic growth. This growth will intensify competition for scarce resources, creating the potential for price shocks. High net importers of energy resources are most vulnerable to these shocks.
The recovery of shale gas, through the process of fracking, is seen by the UK government as a potential means of improving energy security. In the United States, extensive shale gas extraction has helped significantly to lower gas prices. But a clear, satisfactory picture of the extent of this gas and the viability of its extraction in this country has yet to emerge.