According to new data from the Dept of Energy (DECC), renewable sources delivered 49.7% of Scotland’s gross electricity consumption in 2014 – up from 44.4% in 2013.
This means that the Scot-Govt. target of generating half of Scotland’s electricity from renewable energy by 2015 has been met 12 months ahead of target.
It also means that renewable energy sources are now the single largest contributor to electricity generation in Scotland at a record 38% of total output – higher than both nuclear (33%) and fossil fuels (28%) for the first time.
Renewable generation in 2014 was up 11.9 per cent on 2013 (which was a previous record year for renewables) and accounted for a record 38 per cent of total Scottish generation. Scotland generated 49,929 GWh of electricity in 2014 with renewable electricity generation delivering 18,962 GWh.
Scottish renewable generation made up approximately 29% of the total UK renewable output in 2014, while Scotland continued to be a net exporter of electricity, exporting 23.7% of generation in 2014.
The largest single sector was onshore wind, followed by solar PV and heat pumps. Last year (2014), around 20,000 jobs were supported by renewable energy sector in Scotland.
Meanwhile, North Sea oil production has increased by 27%, partly because production was very low in the third quarter of 2014 due to maintenance at Buzzard, the UK’s largest oil field.
Production has also been boosted by the start-up of the Golden Eagle field in the last 12 months. Production of gas rose by 10%.
Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “These figures show that Scotland’s renewables sector is stronger than ever and our early adoption of clean, green energy technology and infrastructure was the right thing to do.
“It is fantastic news that renewables are now Scotland’s biggest electricity generator, and that nearly half of gross electricity consumption comes from renewables.
“Despite damaging policy changes from the UK Government, we will continue to harness – and bolster – Scotland’s renewables potential, both in generation and infrastructure. At the end of Q3 2015, there was 7,504 MW of installed renewables electricity capacity in Scotland, an increase of 4.6% over the year.
“Devolved administrations, like the Scottish Government, will be strong drivers of a progressive climate agenda. The figures show that a low carbon economy is not just a practical way forward, but that green energy plays a crucial role in the security of Scotland’s energy supply. ”