2012 on track to be best renewables year yet


Renewable electricity generation in the first half of 2012 was 13 per cent higher than generation over the first half of 2011, previously Scotland’s record year.

Figures from the Department for Energy and Climate Change showed that Scotland’s renewable generation over the first half of 2012 (quarter one and quarter two) was 12.8 per cent or 806GWh higher than the same period the previous year.

This means renewable electricity generated enough to power the equivalent of an extra 147,000 homes for a whole year in the first half of 2012 alone, compared to the same period in 2011.

Installed renewable capacity at the end of the second quarter of 2012 was up by 18.6 per cent on the previous year, with 5,453MW installed.

The figures also confirmed that 2011 was a record year for renewable electricity generation in Scotland, and around 35 per cent of Scottish electricity demand was met from renewables, exceeding the target of 31 per cent. Around 14,000GWh of electricity was generated – or enough to power the equivalent of approximately 2.5 million homes for a year.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said:

“These statistics show once again that Scotland leads the world in renewable energy generation, and that our industry goes from strength to strength.

“Renewable electricity generation for the first half of 2012 is up nearly 13 per cent on the amount generated in the same period in the previous year. The equivalent of an extra 147,000 homes could be powered for a year with the extra electricity produced in those six months alone, compared to the same period in 2011.

“The Scottish Government has the ambitious, but achievable target of generating the equivalent of 100% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020, as well as more from other sources, and we are determined to ensure communities all over Scotland reap the benefit from renewable energy.

“Scotland has hit the natural lottery twice, first with oil and gas and with our green energy resources. We have astounding green energy potential and vast natural resources with about a quarter of Europe’s wind and tidal energy and 10% of its wave power. We have a responsibility to make sure our nation seizes this opportunity to create tens of thousands of new jobs and secure billions of pounds of investment in our economy.”

The figures showed that renewable electricity generation in Scotland in quarter two 2012 was 2,498GWh, down 20 per cent on the same period in 2011, though when combined with quarter one the year is on track to be the best ever.  The majority of this decrease is explained by a fall in hydro generation because of low rainfalls in April and May, and also a drop in onshore wind generation, because of lower wind speeds compared to the same period in 2011.