Renewable energy sector hits 50% of Scottish electricity generation target 12 months ahead of schedule

renewables_in_scotland1 SR July 2014Scotland has almost met its 50% renewable electricity target – a year ahead of schedule – according to official figures published by the Department for Energy (DECC).

The provisional Renewable Electricity Generation 2014 National Statistics show 49.6% of gross electricity consumption came from renewable sources in Scotland last year – an increase of 5.2% on 2013.

The provisional figures for renewable electricity show that renewables generation increased last year by 11.7% and is now estimated at 18,959 GWh. This is approximately enough electricity to power the equivalent of an additional 430,000 Scottish households for a year, compared to 2013.

This included an increase in hydro, bioenergy and wind generation with hydro generation at a record high level, up 26% from 2013 to 5,503 GWh, and another record year for wind output, up 4%  from 2013 to 11,592 GWh.

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing commented: “Renewable electricity generation continues to go from strength to strength in Scotland –  I am pleased we have almost met our 50% renewable electricity target 12 months ahead of schedule.

“Harnessing Scotland’s vast energy wealth has multiple benefits – reducing our carbon emissions, creating jobs and investment and helping keep the lights on across these islands.”

 A recent publication on the low carbon sector showed in 2013 there were 45, 000 people employed across the low carbon sector and its supply chain in Scotland making a vital contribution to our economy.

SNP MSP Dennis Robertson commented:  “The figures showing that Scotland is within a hair’s breadth of meeting its interim renewable electricity target a year ahead of schedule are a welcome sign of the real progress that is taking place.

“Scotland’s renewable energy industry has made great strides in recent years, creating jobs and bringing investment to communities across Scotland.

“However the progress that has been made has come in spite of the Westminster Government’s determination to pursue horrendously expensive new nuclear power stations at the expense of renewables and its commitment to a system of transmission charging that penalises generators in Scotland.”

The DECC report also published figures which show that renewable electricity provided a record percentage of UK supply in the last quarter of 2014, reaching 22%. Onshore and offshore wind combined provided the biggest share of renewable electricity, at just under 12% of the total electricity generated.

The statistics also confirmed that renewable electricity provided a record percentage of power in 2014, at 19.2%.

Onshore and offshore wind made up nearly 50% of this total, with both seeing increases in the amount of power generated compared to 2013. The amount of onshore wind generated increased by 7.9% in 2014, and the amount of offshore wind was up 16.1%.

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