By a Newsnet reporter
The value of exports from Scotland’s utilities sector has grown sharply, underlining the growing opportunities that the renewable energy sector is now providing to the Scottish economy.
Recently published figures show that the combined annual value of Scotland’s exports from the utilities sector has risen sharply, from just over £3 billion in 2007 to over £5 billion in 2011.
These figures include exports to the rest of the UK as well as those to the international community
This 65% rise in the value of exports from the utilities sector mirrors a 67% increase in Scotland’s renewable electricity output from 8,215 GWh in 2007 to 13,753 GWh in 2011.
Earlier this week, Newsnet Scotland highlighted a report by academics at Cardiff University which concluded that Scotland was leading the UK on the development of the renewables sector. According to the report the SNP’s goal of independence was a key driver of renewable research and development and that renewable energy was central to the future economy of Scotland.
The report – Promoting Renewable Energy in the UK: what difference has devolution made? – identified the role of the Scottish government in ensuring the establishment of commercialisation and testing facilities in Scotland for renewable energy, compared to other parts of the UK.
Commenting, SNP MSP Mike MacKenzie said:
“These figures show unequivocally that Scotland’s economy is benefiting more and more from the sale of utilities to our neighbours.
“It is no coincidence that as Scotland’s renewables sector has grown rapidly in recent years the value of exports from utilities has also increased remarkably.
“Renewable energy is giving Scotland enormous opportunities and generating significant levels of jobs and investment in our economy. These figures show that Scotland is reaping the benefits of this approach, with a sizeable boost to the amount of money the utilities sector is bringing into Scotland.
“Scotland is already demonstrating its credentials as a reliable provider of green energy to our neighbours and as we make further progress towards our ambitious renewable electricity targets, there is every prospect of the value of these exports growing further.
“These figures underline that Scotland is already a successful utilities exporter and with the powers of an independent Scotland, our success in this sector will only grow and develop as we sell increasing amounts of much-needed energy to our nearest neighbours.”