By a Newsnet reporter
New figures showing Scotland’s renewable energy output in the first quarter of 2012 was 45.5% up on the same period last year have been hailed as a sign Scotland is on course to meet its ambitious energy targets.
The first quarter of 2012 saw 4,950 gigawatt hours (GWh) generated in Scotland from renewables, up 1,435 on the same quarter last year.
The figures, produced by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), show that for the whole of 2011, 13,735 GWh were generated from renewables, meaning that around 35% of Scotland’s electricity demands were met from green energy sources.
The DECC statistics for 2011 also reveal that renewable electricity generation in Scotland was a record high level, up 44.3 per cent on 2010, and up 97.3 per cent on 2006.
That 2011 figure comfortably beats the Scottish Government’s interim target of generating 31% of Scottish demand from renewables by 2011 and puts Scotland well on course to providing the equivalent of 100% of electricity demand by 2020.
Commenting, SNP MSP Angus MacDonald, a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, said:
“These latest figures show that the renewables sector is going from strength to strength and is rapidly increasing the amount of electricity it provides homes and businesses.
“Last year saw the highest ever output from renewable energy in Scotland, but these figures reveal we are already building substantially on that level.
“The energy potential Scotland has from renewables is incredible and the sector already employs 11,000 people. That figure will only grow as more and more investments are made and Scotland moves towards meeting its ambitious renewable energy targets.
“The renewables sector offers us the opportunity to reindustrialise Scotland and harness the incredible rewards that our clean energy potential offers us. We are on course to meet our goals and that can only be good news for communities across Scotland.”
According to DECC, £1.7 billion of renewable projects were completed in Scotland in 2011/12 leading to the creation of 4,400 jobs. The Scottish renewables sector is projected to attract investment totalling £8 billion, the best of the entire UK.
Renewable energy is estimated to already be responsible for 11,000 jobs in Scotland, with thousands more expected as investment grows.
Other examples of investment in Scottish renewables include:
- 23 March 2012 – “Gamesa chooses Leith over Hartlepool”, with around 800 new jobs being created at the Port of Leith, with investment of up to 150 million euros.
- 8 March 2012 – Green Investment Bank, capitalised with £3 billion, is to be headquartered in Edinburgh.
- 9 Feb 2012 – Glasgow based wind turbine manufacturer Gaia-Wind secured a £5 million deal to supply farm-scale turbines south of the border.
- 31 Jan 2012 – Samsung Heavy Industries announced it will base its first European offshore wind project in Methil. More than 500 jobs could be created in Fife through this £100m project.
- 24 Jan 2012 – grid upgrades to a value of £7 billion approved. SSE and Scottish Power’s joint investment could create around 3000 jobs and is designed to provide a 21st century electricity system for Scotland.
- 15 Dec 2011 – SSE signed an MoU with Forth Ports, Dundee City Council and Scottish Enterprise – focussed on delivering renewables jobs by attracting international offshore wind supply chain companies to Scotland.
- 1 Nov 2011 – Scottish Renewables (following work carried out by Mott Macdonald) estimates that some £750m of renewable electricity projects have been delivered in the last twelve months in Scotland – an estimate that does not include investment in projects still in scoping, planning or construction.
- 20 Oct 2011 – Global Energy Group finalises purchase of 238 acre Nigg site – supported by HIE funding of £1.8m. Global Energy expects the facility to employ 2000 people by 2015.
- 27 Sep 2011 – Aquamarine Power secured £7 million of new funding to help take its ‘Oyster’ wave technology to commercialisation.
- 1 Aug 2011 – Technip opened its new, Aberdeen based ‘centre of engineering excellence’ for offshore wind in Scotland and announced a new partnership between Technip, Iberdrola. Technip and ScottishPower Renewables.
- 21 June 2011 – French-headquartered Alstom announced it had acquired a 40% stake in Inverness-based AWS Ocean Energy Ltd, developer of the AWS-III wave power device.
- 7 Mar 2011 – Gaia Wind Ltd, a leading small-wind turbine manufacturer opened its new manufacturing, design and distribution Hub in Glasgow.
- 20 Jan 2011 – Gamesa announced plans for an Offshore Wind Technology Centre in Glasgow with plans to create 130 engineering jobs.
- 3 Dec 2010 – Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe Ltd (MPSE) announced plans to invest up to £100 million in Edinburgh creating up to 200 jobs.
- 17 Aug 2010 – Hammerfest Strom UK announced plans to invest £4 million in Scottish businesses. Fife-based Burntisland Fabrication Limited was awarded a major construction contract worth £2 million for the next stage in the development of Hammerfest Strom’s HS1000 device.