Renewables generate record Scottish electricity output

DECC: wind generation by country in UK Sept 2015
DECC: wind generation by country in UK Sept 2015

A record amount of Scotland’s electricity was generated from renewables in the first half of 2015.

However, Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing warned that progress towards decarbonising electricity generation is being put at risk by the recent plans from the UK to remove support from renewable generation earlier than previously planned.

New statistics, published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, show a 13.5% increase in renewable electricity generation compared to the first half of 2014.

The Scottish Government’s energy consumption target, to reduce consumption by 12% by 2020, is already at the required level in 2013 – down by 13.3% from the 2005-2007 baseline. The statistics also show that:

  • Scotland generated 4,832 GWh of renewable electricity in Q2 2015, a 37.3% increase in renewable electricity from the same quarter in 2014
  • Wind and hydro output increased by 52.2% and 27% respectively compared to same quarter the year before
  • At the end of Q2 2015, there was 7,444 MW of installed renewable electricity capacity in Scotland, an increase of 5.5% from end of Q2 2014

Energy Minister Ewing said: “Scotland continues to make good progress on renewable electricity generation and annually we are now producing double the amount we did in 2006.

“However we are very concerned that the damaging and premature cuts to support for renewable energy being driven through by the UK Government will hamper future progress.

“If they are going to pursue this policy there should be a sufficiently flexible grace period covering projects already in the planning system. This flexibility would ensure companies and communities are not penalised unfairly by the UK Government policy change where they have already invested.”

DECC: wind capacity by country in UK Sept 2015
DECC: wind capacity by country in UK Sept 2015

Meanwhile, other DECC data shows that in 2014, Scotland had 40% of the UK’s wind capacity and produced 36% of the output. (see chart, above)

England accounted for 45% of wind capacity and 51% of generation (see chart, left)

The growth in overall renewables capacity has primarily come from the following areas:

  • Yorkshire and the Humber – biomass (+692 MW, mostly from the 645 MW second Drax unit conversion) and wind (+109 MW);
  • South West – solar (+692 MW);
  • Wales – wind (+401 MW – with 428 MW from the new Gwynt y Mor offshore site) and solar (229 MW);
  • Scotland – wind (+512 MW, including the following new onshore wind sites: Harestanes
  • (136 MW), Mid Hill (76 MW), 69 MW Lochluichart Windfarm, Berry Burn (67 MW) and
  • Beinn an Tuirc 2 (44 MW);
  • East of England – solar (+547 MW);
  • North West – wind (+406 MW, mostly from the new 389 MW West of Duddon Sands
  • offshore site);
  • South East – solar (+420 MW).

The rapid uptake of solar has been a feature of the last four years, driven by the financial support being given to, and decreasing cost of, the technology.

For further details on the sub-national renewable analysis contact:

E-mail James.Hemingway@decc.gsi.gov.uk

DECC Energy Statistics Team

Tel: 0300 068 5042

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