The Scottish Government has unveiled plans to make the nation the first part of the UK to host subsidy-free onshore wind farms.

The proposal came as part of the devolved administration’s first draft energy strategy.

Ministers also signalled their commitment to floating wind farms, pumped hydro storage, smart grids, energy efficiency and using hydrogen as an alternative to petrol and diesel for transport.

The strategy also included a fresh target of generating 50% of Scotland’s energy for heat, transport and electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

‘Landmark’ moment

Jenny Hogan, Director of Policy at trade body Scottish Renewables, hailed the energy strategy as a “landmark moment” in Scotland’s low-carbon transition and added: “Setting a new target for renewables to deliver half of our energy needs by 2030 sends a strong signal that renewable energy will be at the heart of Scotland’s economy and is key to meeting our climate change targets at lowest cost.”

Gina Hanrahan, Climate & Energy Policy Officer at environmental charity WWF Scotland, noted: “The new all energy target sends a strong message to business and industry, both here and globally, that Scotland plans to build on its amazing progress on renewable electricity in the heat and transport sectors.”

Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, added: “If properly planned, a major expansion of marine renewables would be the ideal way to create a just transition for workers currently facing a bleak future in the oil industry.”

> See the Scottish Government's strategy