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Renewable energy hits record levels in Scotland

 Orkney wind turbines - Image credit: courtesy of Solo Energy

Renewable energy hits record levels in Scotland

Scotland’s renewable electricity generation reached record levels in the first quarter of this year, providing enough energy to power 88 per cent of Scottish households for a year, new UK Government figures reveal.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy statistics, released today, showed Scotland had generated 8,877GWh, a 17 per cent increase on the same quarter in 2018 and a 0.9GW or 9.1 per cent surge in the last year.

Scotland’s electricity exports are also at their highest level since the end of 2017, with a net 4,543GWh exported, which can power more than 1.1 million households for a year.

Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said the results showed Scotland’s renewable energy sector “continues to go from strength to strength”.

“Last year, we were able to meet the equivalent of almost 74 per cent of our electricity demand from renewable sources, and the first quarter in 2019 shows that positive trend continues,” he said.

“We are seeing the growing importance of offshore wind, with capacity and generation both continuing to rise – with further projects under construction. I am delighted that installed capacity grew by 9.1 per cent to reach a record 11.3GW by March this year.”

Scottish renewables chief executive Clair Mack said Scotland’s renewable energy resource “is continuing to deliver environmental and economic benefits across Scotland”, harnessed by technologies including wind, hydro, biomass, solar and marine energy.

“Renewables are now producing more of our electricity than ever before, reducing the carbon emissions which cause climate change and driving jobs and investment across the country,” she said.

“Scotland’s renewable energy industry employs 17,700 people, and with the right support from government can continue to deliver enormous economic benefits as we transition to a low-carbon energy system and strive to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045.”

But WWF Scotland climate and energy policy manager Robin Parker said for Scotland to reach its full renewable potential, the UK Government must “unlock support for cheap, popular and effective renewables like onshore wind”.

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