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Scotland Sets 2030 Carbon Cutting Target for Power Sector

Scotland set a goal to cut emissions from the power industry by 2030 as First Minister Alex Salmond criticized the U.K. government for neglecting such a target.

Scotland plans to reduce emissions from electricity output by more than four-fifths to 50 grams of carbon dioxide a kilowatt-hour, Salmond said today at a conference in Aberdeen. Power producers in Scotland generated about 347 grams of CO2 a kilowatt-hour in 2010.

The move follows a decision by the U.K. government to withhold a so-called decarbonization goal from energy legislation until 2016, citing carbon-reduction budgets already in place. Clean-power developers including Vestas Wind Systems A/S said the lack of a target would increase the risk of committing to long-term U.K. investments.

“U.K. coalition ministers’ mixed messages on energy policy and continuing uncertainty around electricity market reform, including the lack of a decarbonization target until at least 2016, is undermining confidence,” Salmond said. He urged Britain to follow his lead to boost security for investors.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s government brushed aside the rebuke from Salmond, whose Scottish National Party is fighting for independence from Britain. Cameron wishes to maintain the union.

Energy Policy

“The U.K. government is fully committed to decarbonizing the economy,” U.K. Secretary of State Ed Davey said today in an e-mailed statement. “While energy policy is not a devolved matter and most energy investment is determined at a U.K. level, I am pleased that the Scottish government is playing an active role in supporting this agenda.”

Scotland’s target was recommended by the U.K. Committee on Climate Change, which also advised the British government. The goal is underpinned by plans to install 10 gigawatts of offshore wind turbines over the next decade, according to Salmond.

The first minister outlined accords between the Highland and Islands Enterprise development agency and four Scottish ports to expand offshore wind and attract 100 million pounds ($157 million) of investment. The industry has brought in 165 million pounds from six developers to date, member organization Scottish Renewables said yesterday.

Scotland is seeking to get all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, compared with about 27 percent in 2011, according to government data. The U.K. has a target to get 30 percent of its power from renewables, up from almost 12 percent now.

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