Record level of UK electricity generated from renewable sources, according to DECC
A record level of UK electricity came from renewable sources last year, according to new official statistics.
Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) figures show that renewables now generate the equivalent of 57 per cent of Scotland’s power needs, compared to 24.7 per cent across the UK.
By the end of 2015 generation in Scotland had reached 22.0 TWh, an increase of 15.2 per cent on the previous year.
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Scotland’s capacity had increased by 5.5 per cent, rising 7.7 GW, largely because of increased onshore wind capacity. Scotland accounted for 25.7 per cent of the UK’s total renewable electricity capacity.
The UK-wide figures show the amount of electricity generated by wind increased by 26 per cent, meaning wind energy now powers 9.8m British homes. Solar output increased by 86 per cent and bioenergy grew by 28 per cent.
Meanwhile, DECC figures showed average household electricity bills fell by 1.4 per cent due to falling energy costs and lower demand.
RenewableUK deputy chief executive Maf Smith said: “These excellent figures show that renewable energy is delivering huge amounts of clean electricity right now, and that overall energy costs are coming down – including wind energy
“Putting the consumer first means putting renewables first. As old coal turns off, renewables is quietly taking its place, delivering energy security and value for money. It makes more sense than ever to fully support and take advantage of our natural resources.”
Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said the figures were “great news”.
He added: “Despite the UK Government’s ideological assault on renewable energy Scotland is storming ahead, smashing through our 50 per cent target for 2015. Well done to all those in this vital industry who have helped produced a big increase from the 2014 figures.
“Clean, green energy is essential in the fight against climate change and Scotland needs to continue to be a champion of renewables while David Cameron continues to chase the nuclear dream in England.”
Meanwhile, WWF Scotland director Lang Banks called on political parties to continue to prioritise renewables going into the election.
He said: “Independent research has shown that it is possible for Scotland to have a secure, efficient electricity system, based on almost entirely renewable electricity generation, by 2030.
“Embracing that vision would maximise the opportunities to create new jobs, empower communities and support local economic renewal throughout the country.”