Mr Wilson said: 'My attitude to targets is 'the higher the better' - and in Scotland we start with the huge advantage of the hydro-electricity inheritance. But setting targets does not guarantee delivery and we need to work together in order to recognize and overcome the formidable challenges that exist.
'This work is going well and I expect the group to report shortly.'
Mr Wilson said that it would be wrong to associate renewables with hydro power and wind alone, although they are at present the only two significant contributors. He said: 'My own department is putting a lot of money into the development of wave and tidal technologies which have been talked of for a long time but so far have yielded few commercial results. I am confident, however, that we will soon make that breakthrough.
'I particularly welcome co-operation between different parts of the UK towards our common goals. Today, for instance, my colleague Allan Wilson MSP, the deputy environment minister, is in Shetland for the testing of the Stingray tidal power device which was developed in the North East of England. There are many of these synergies going on.'
1. The government announced its proposals for the new Renewables Obligation on 5 October 2000 (News release P/2000/667). Copies of the latest Renewables Obligation consultation document are available from the DTI website.
2. The government expects to create a£2bn a year market for renewable energy by 2010. The main driver for this will be the renewables obligation which will require electricity suppliers to source ten per cent of their electricity from renewable sources. In addition a£260m support programme has been provided over the next three years of which£64m is going towards wind energy.