What is net zero?

Net zero means that the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we put into the atmosphere balances with the amount we take out of it.

We're determined to reach net zero by reducing our emissions to a minimum and embracing our green energy mix. Becoming net zero will make Scotland a fairer and greener place for everyone.

With the wellbeing and safety of the world’s population at stake, we need to succeed. And working together with partners worldwide, we can.

Scotland’s ambitions to reach net zero

Scotland was one of the first countries in the world to declare a climate emergency. We know that a tough road lies ahead but we have set some of the most ambitious climate change targets in the world – to reach net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045.

Because of our strong belief in equality, we have thought about the impact this could have on our workforce and society – so we are also committed to reducing our emissions in a fair way that leaves no one behind; known as a just transition.

Our just transition is a deep commitment, set down in law and focuses on supporting workers and affected communities as we shift away from fossil fuels, and creating green jobs to support this change.

net zero

What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy is energy derived from natural sources that are replenished at a higher rate than they are consumed. In Scotland, we've set a target for the equivalent of 50% of the energy for Scotland's heat, transport and electricity use to come from renewable sources.

This is a systemic change, but Scotland is on a mission to embrace this huge opportunity for economic and industrial growth. We’ve already made progress in growing our renewable energy output.

Did you know that in 2022, for the first time the equivalent of more than 100% of the electricity used in Scotland came from renewables? 

Harnessing our renewable energy potential is crucial to supporting our ambitions of reaching net zero.

Our vision of a net zero society has inspired us to think differently about all aspects of our society - as well as environmental benefits, renewable energy has the potential to grow the economy, support businesses and provide employment opportunities.

The renewables sector supports over 42,000 jobs in Scotland which shows the huge collective effort behind this transformation.

Examples of renewable energy sources

Wind energy

Known for our epic landscapes and wild winds, we’ve been compelled to use these superpowers in the fight against climate change.

With an abundance of wind resources, a skilled offshore workforce and world-leading technology, Scotland is already a global leader in offshore wind.

Did you know Scotland is home to the world’s first floating offshore wind farm? Hywind Scotland has five turbines and produces the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power around 35,000 UK homes per year.

You’ll also find one of the world’s largest floating wind farms off the coast of Aberdeen in Scotland.

Balmedie Beach

Photo credit: Instagram @aaronpiriephoto

Opportunities in offshore wind

Offshore wind is a growing industry in Scotland. We’re proud to have around 1000 businesses in offshore wind.

The business environment is supported by researchers and academics from world-leading institutions, all working together on the look-out for new advancements and solutions.

If you’re looking for an opportunity in renewable energy, Scotland’s renewables sector is growing fast with jobs in offshore wind and research and development as exemplified by the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC).

The EOWDC is Scotland’s largest offshore wind testing facility. Located off the coast of Aberdeen, the facility supports research in blade testing and specialist techniques. It also ensures solutions in offshore wind are as cost-effective as possible.

Discover the EOWDC in this short film depicting Scotland’s strong presence in offshore wind. Filmed on Balmedie Beach in Aberdeen which is a conservation area, the film celebrates winds of change and the potential of Scotland’s green economy.

ScotWind Leasing for Offshore Wind

 As the world’s largest commercial round for floating offshore wind, ScotWind puts Scotland at the forefront of offshore wind development globally.

ScotWind is expected to benefit Scottish businesses and communities for decades to come, while providing a significant boost to Scottish and UK-wide green energy production. 

ScotWind provides an excellent opportunity to build on our legacy of offshore engineering as we move towards our net zero ambitions. The process undertaken has produced a leasing round focused on quality and deliverability of bids, and the long term prize of supply chain investment which promises to transform the Scottish economy over decades and to provide the energy transition required to achieve net zero by 2045. 

It is widely accepted that offshore wind represents a significant opportunity to create thousands of good Scottish jobs. We want to ensure a just transition that takes our existing skilled workforce and supply chain with us.

We will continue to make every effort to ensure that our skilled workforce, supply chain can maximise the benefit from developing Scotland’s significant offshore wind potential and the opportunities for innovation that will unlock this. 

Marine energy

We’re not only leading the way in offshore wind, but Scotland is also making waves in marine energy.

Scotland is home to the world’s largest tidal stream array and the world’s largest tidal stream energy converter. We’re also proud to be the home of the world’s leading tidal and wave energy test centre. 

Established in 2003, the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney is the world’s only fully accredited test and research centre for wave and tidal energy. EMEC has hosted the testing and deployment of more wave and energy devices than any other site in the world.  

Orkney wind turbine

Scotland: leading the way to net zero

In Scotland, we’re passionate about sustainability and we’re making world-leading changes in net zero technology.

Our rich natural resources, highly skilled workforce and supportive business environment make Scotland an excellent destination for finding opportunities in renewable energy.

Discover more about Scotland’s journey to net zero.

Find about more about what you can do at Net Zero Nation.

Learn more about renewable energy opportunities in Scotland.

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