Green sources powering Scotland

Threat to renewables despite record output

Clyde WindfarmA renewables leader says the UK government’s withdrawal of support for the sector threatens its future just as it is making a record contribution to Scotland’s electricity needs.

Wind, hydro, solar and other green sources met 59.4% of Scotland’s electricity demand in 2015, against 49.7% in 2014.

While gas dominated the generation mix in England and Northern Ireland, in Scotland renewables had the largest share (42%) – double the proportion in the other UK nations. In Wales coal had the largest share (33%).

Jenny Hogan, Director of Policy at industry body Scottish Renewables, said: “These figures are great news for the UK – and great news for Scotland in particular. 

“The latest figures underline the disproportionate contribution that Scotland is making to the UK’s efforts to clean up our energy system.

“We know that to fight climate change we must reduce the amount of carbon emitted by our energy sector, and renewables are doing just that.

“Despite the closure of Cockenzie coal-fired power station in March 2013 Scotland is exporting a record proportion of its electricity generation to the rest of the UK, in large part thanks to the growth of renewables.

“However, future progress is hugely uncertain, with large scale onshore wind, solar and hydro power all locked out of government schemes to support investment in new electricity generation capacity.”

Scotland has a target to deliver the equivalent of 100% of its electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2020, and the 59.4% figure quoted above is the latest indication of progress towards that goal.

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