Reduction of subsidies hitting output

Scotland may miss next target for green energy

Clyde WindfarmScotland may struggle to meet its next target for generating electricity from renewables because of the reduction in subsidy from the UK government.

More than half of the country’s electricity needs came from renewable sources in 2015, surpassing the 50% target set by government ministers.

Based on the latest consumption figures from 2014, renewables now generate the equivalent of 57% of Scotland’s power needs.

The new figure, published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, means Scotland is now more than halfway towards its target of producing the equivalent of 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

However, there is growing concern that the next target may not be achievable.

The figures show that output from renewable energy sources in Scotland grew by 15% from 2014 which has been largely due to an increase in onshore wind, hydro and solar generation.

The UK government has withdrawn subsidies for onshore wind, which prompted a number of projects to be postponed or cancelled.

Jenny Hogan, director of Policy for Scottish Renewables said: “This is another important milestone for our industry and shows renewables are now a mainstream part of our power sector.

“There is still a huge amount of potential for future growth, if the industry is given the right backing by government.”

Ms Hogan warned that there is doubt over how achievable the next target set for the industry is.

She said: “Despite having enough projects in the pipeline, recent changes to government support, and hold ups in the consenting process for offshore wind farms, have set us on a path to fall short of the 2020 target.”

These approximate statistics will be confirmed once the consumption figure of electricity in 2015 is made available later this year.

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