The declaration of a climate emergency in Scotland, quickly followed by the rest of the UK, has been a boon for the renewable energy sector. After all, without clean power, heat and transport fuels, our ambitious net-zero targets are totally out of reach.
But we know tackling the carbon emissions caused by our increasing demand for energy isn’t enough on its own. The world’s raw resources are limited. As demand for these resources increase, supplies deplete, driving up costs.
It’s imperative that we change the way we use products and materials, and Scotland’s ambition for a circular economy shows we are committed to making that change.
The circular economy represents an opportunity to move away from the linear approach of creating and delivering a product or service that is disposed of at the end of its life. This waste represents an enormous pool of resources that can be exploited with minimal impact on the environment.
A circular economy focuses on responsible production: businesses which supply products and services get the maximum life and value from the resources used to make them, keeping these resources in a continuous loop of re-use.
Doing that can take a number of forms:
• from re-use and repair -where a product’s lifecycle is extended by maintenance
• remanufacturing – where a product is repurposed at the end of its ‘first life’ to enable further uses
• recycling – where products are separated into component parts and materials to be used in new products
• by altering design and manufacturing processes to reduce or eliminate waste
Adopting a circular approach presents a great opportunity for many sectors across the country, including onshore wind.