New figures published today for the first three quarters of 2012 show Scotland’s renewable electricity output was on track for the best year ever.
The figures, which were released this morning by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, point to 2012 being a record year for renewable electricity generation in Scotland, with the first three quarters of 2012 generating 15.2 per cent more electricity than the same period in 2011, the previous record breaking year.
The statistics show that renewables met a record-breaking 36.3 per cent of gross electricity consumption in 2011, confirming that Scotland has exceeded its interim target of generating the equivalent of 31 per cent of electricity demand from renewables by 2011. This is important progress towards the Government’s 2020 target of the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity needs met from renewable energy, as well as more from other sources.
Scottish renewable electricity made up 39.9 per cent of the UK’s renewable energy generation in 2011. Scotland continues to be a net exporter of electricity, exporting over 26 per cent of generation in 2011, up from 21 per cent in 2010.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said:
“These figures show that renewable energy in Scotland is going from strength to strength, confirming that 2011 was a record year for generation in Scotland and that 2012 looks set to be even better.
“With renewable electricity meeting 36.3 per cent of Scottish electricity consumption in 2011, we have smashed our interim renewable electricity target of 31 per cent, and are well on track to meet our 2015 target of 50 per cent, and our 2020 100 per cent target.
“The Scottish Government is giving industry the certainty it needs to invest in Scotland. Scotland’s clean green energy resources are delivering thousands of jobs and hundreds of thousands of pounds of investment to communities across Scotland.
“Recent industry figures show renewable energy investment in Scotland is now set to exceed £1 billion in 2012 alone. The list of recent companies investing – or planning to invest – in Scotland’s renewable energy future shows that Scotland is increasingly the destination of choice for renewable energy investment.
“Other sectors of the economy are now benefitting from the renewables policy including civil engineering. One pound in every eight spent on civil engineering in infrastructure in Scotland comes from grid and renewables work helping to provide a sustainable economic future, and supporting 1200 jobs.
“Scotland has hit the natural lottery twice, first with oil and gas and with our green energy resources. We have a skilled, experienced and able workforce. We are aligning policy, political and industry will. Renewable energy is already delivering high quality jobs and investment to the people of Scotland, enhancing energy security and will keep bills lower than they would otherwise be. We have a responsibility to make sure our nation seizes this opportunity.”
The figures also show that final energy consumption are 6.2 per cent lower than the 2005-7 baseline. This indicates that Scotland is on track to meet the 2020 final energy reduction target of 12 per cent by 2020.