The latest UK government figures from the Department of Energy (DECC) also reveal that Scotland’s renewable electricity output is at record levels, meeting 40.3% of gross electricity consumption in 2012.
This is important progress towards the Government’s 2020 target of the equivalent of 100% of Scotland’s electricity needs met from renewable electricity, as well as more from other sources.
Scottish renewable electricity made up 36% of the UK’s renewable energy generation in 2012 and Scotland continues to be a net exporter of electricity, exporting over 26% of generation in 2012.
Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing commented: “These figures show that renewable electricity in Scotland is going from strength to strength, confirming that 2012 was a record year for generation in Scotland and that 2013 looks set to be even better. We can already see from the first 9 months of 2013 that generation is 4% higher compared to the same period in 2012.
“The Scottish Government’s target is to generate the equivalent of 100% of Scotland’s gross annual electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2020, as part of a wider, balanced, low carbon energy mix.
“These figures show that renewable generation in Scotland was at a record high last year, meeting around 40% of our electricity demand, and helping keep the lights on across these islands – at a time when Ofgem is warning of the ever-tightening gap between peak electricity demand and electricity supply.
Ewing also commenting on the UK Government’s Electricity Market Reform Delivery Plan. He said:
“The UK Government continues to ignore the need for different levels of support across the three main island groups – a need that the UK’s own research identified. I have announced plans to convene a summit in early 2014 bringing all interested parties together to assess whether anything further can be done to help deliver a positive outcome for each island group. Island renewables could provide up to 5% of total GB electricity demand by 2030 and support tens of thousands of jobs – an opportunity which we can’t afford to put at risk.
“Despite a very modest increase, the UK continues to display a lack of ambition for offshore wind. This could yet cast doubt over some of the projects planned for Scotland, and jeopardise our opportunity to secure thousands of jobs as well as manufacturing and supply chain investment.
“In addition, potential investors in the offshore wind and marine renewables sectors have no market signals nor any commitment beyond 2020. The UK Government must take serious and considered steps to address these issues.”