The group, whose Scottish headquarters is based in Glasgow, has been appointed by WWF Scotland, which is part of the international WWF network – one of the world’s most influential environmental organisations.
It says Scotland – and the UK as a whole – has legally binding targets to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050.
According to the group, renewable energy will deliver a major part of these reductions and Scotland is already committed to meet 30 percent of the country’s total energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020.
It says that Scotland has also set out an ambition to secure 100 percent of its electricity demand from renewable energy by 2020 and, with excellent progress made towards the 2020 targets, a key policy issue is the need to assess the potential for renewable energy in 2030.
Ricardo-AEA’s assignment will include an assessment of Scotland’s current renewable energy provision and its existing aspirations, together with its corresponding emissions targets.
UCL’s contribution to this is offered through its world-leading Energy Institute, in combination with UCL Consultants Ltd.
The UK MARKAL model – a multi-time period linear optimisation model developed extensively by UCL Energy Institute and Ricardo-AEA, portraying the entire UK energy system from imports and domestic production resources through to energy service demands – will then be used to develop renewable energy scenarios covering heat, electricity and transport in 2030. The work will provide a robust evidence base to help support decision-making on renewable energy issues in Scotland.
Ricardo-AEA renewable knowledge leader Colin McNaught said: “The recent IPCC reports confirmed the degree of change in energy supply that is needed to mitigate dangerous climate change.
“Scotland has already made great strides towards its renewables target for electricity and is rich in renewable energy potential. As the need to decarbonise the power sector has been widely recognised, much attention has been paid to how this would be done. Our project will therefore also focus on the increasing importance of renewable energy for the heat and transport sectors. We’re excited to have won this important project which should help Scotland to move towards a broadly supported 2030 renewable energy target.”