Half of Scots electricity usage is renewable, figures reveal

Offshore-wind-farm

Scottish data released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change shows that in the first three months of 2015, wind generated 4,452 Gigawatt hours (GWh), up 4.3% on the previous record quarter – enough electricity to power the equivalent of around 960,000 Scottish households for a year.

A total of 49.8% of all electricity used in 2014 came from renewables, while installed renewables electricity capacity rose by 9% over the year to March 2015 to 7,383 Megawatts (MW).

Energy minister Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland accounts for around a third of total UK renewables generation.

“Given the record amounts of power now coming from wind, and a healthy pipeline of wind projects with consent and in planning, the UK Government’s proposals will have a profound and disproportionate impact on Scotland.”

Mr Ewing met UK energy secretary Amber Rudd and she has accepted his invitation to meet those affected by the closure of the renewables obligation scheme a year early, with industry body Scottish Renewables warning up to £3bn of investment north of the border could be at risk.

He added: “Onshore wind is one of the most cost effective renewable energies, yet the UK Government’s perverse decision to end support puts this hard work and progress in jeopardy and the Scottish Government will continue to argue against it.”

Dr Sam Gardner, head of policy WWF Scotland, said: “It’s great to see Scotland’s renewable electricity sector making consistent progress year on year towards its 2020 target. Green electricity is helping to slash carbon emissions, increase energy security and deliver jobs and investment.

“It’s clear that Scotland’s on a journey to a clean energy future, we should embrace this transition and work to secure all its benefits.

“However, the recent UK Government announcement to cut support to onshore renewables earlier than planned is pulling the rug from underneath the industry at a crucial time, undermining confidence and putting future investment, and all the economic, environmental and health benefits this could bring, at risk.

“Independent engineering analysis for WWF Scotland shows that we can have an almost entirely renewable electricity system by 2030 that provides security of supply and allows Scotland to continue to play to its strengths and to be a net power exporter.

“However, the UK Government needs to restore confidence to a very nervous energy sector by providing a stable policy framework and a level playing field for onshore wind in competitive auctions.”

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