Renewable energy has become Scotland’s main source of power, new independent figures have revealed. Records from the first half of 2014, the most recent period for which data is available, show renewables generated 32% more electricity than any other single source of power in Scotland.
In total, the renewables sector generated a record 10.3TWh (terawatt-hours), compared to 7.8TWh2 from nuclear generation – previously Scotland’s main source of electricity. The figures also show that coal and gas-fired electricity generation produced 5.6TWh and 1.4TWh respectively over the same six-month period.
“The announcement that renewables have become Scotland’s main source of electricity is historic news for our country, and shows the investment made in the sector is helping to deliver more power than ever before to our homes and businesses.
“This important milestone is good news for anyone who cares about Scotland’s economy, our energy security and our efforts to tackle climate change.
“Every unit of power generated from renewables means less carbon emitted from the burning of fossil fuels, decreases our reliance on imported energy and supports jobs and investment in communities across Scotland.
“The renewables industry has come a long way in a short space of time, but there is still plenty of potential for further growth.
“Offshore wind and marine energy are still in the early stages of development but could make a big contribution to our future energy needs if they get the right support from government. That support includes the delivery of grid connections to the islands, home to the UK’s very best wind, wave and tidal sites.”
“Scotland has vast renewable energy potential, and we continue to make good progress towards our target of generating the equivalent of 100% of Scotland’s electricity demand from renewable sources.
“The fact that energy from renewables has exceeded that from nuclear in the first half of 2014, highlights the vast potential of renewable generation to provide a safe, secure and cost-effective means of electricity generation for this country, together with appropriate levels of thermal generation. It is vital that appropriate support for renewables in Scotland is maintained following the introduction of electricity market reform in the UK.
“2014 is on track to be another record year for renewable electricity generation in Scotland, with 30 per cent higher generation in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period last year.
“With increasing concerns about the lack of GB electricity supplies, Scotland’s renewables continue to play an important role in helping keeping the lights on across these islands.
“The Scottish Government has made its energy policy a top priority and has achieved great progress, despite being limited in terms of its devolved responsibilities. We look forward to proposals for more powers encompassing the necessary levers to deliver Scottish priorities.”
Pictured are (l) Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables and (r) MSP Fergus Ewing, Energy Minister