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Scotland's Producing Record Amounts of Renewable Energy

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Scotland hit record levels of renewable energy generation in the first quarter of 2019, according to the latest government figures.

Recent data from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy revealed that Scotland produced 8,877 GW of renewable energy in the first three months of 2019. This is 17% more than was produced in the first quarter of 2018 and is enough to power around 88% of Scottish homes for a whole year.

The increase in green energy generation has been driven by a 9.1% annual increase in renewable energy capacity from 10.4 GW in March 2018 to 11.3 GW in March 2019. Scotland is also exporting more electricity than it has done since the end of 2017, exporting net 4.543 GWh over the first quarter of this year – enough to supply over 1.1 million homes for a year.

“These figures show Scotland’s renewable energy sector continues to go from strength to strength,” said Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse. “Last year we were able to meet the equivalent of almost 74% of our electricity demand from renewable sources, and the first quarter in 2019 shows that positive trend continues. 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% to reach a record 11.3 GW by March this year.

“Despite damaging policy changes from the UK government, particularly the inexcusable removal of an effective route to market for onshore wind, the Scottish Government continues to provide strong support for Scotland’s renewable energy sector. Generation and infrastructure investment continues, not least because of the importance in preventing the damaging impacts of climate change.”

Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “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 our country. 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.”

Robin Parker, climate and energy policy manager at WWF Scotland, said: “We’re in the grips of a climate crisis and renewables will continue to play a vital role in powering the country, creating jobs and reducing climate emissions. In order that Scotland reaches its full potential and can provide the rest of the UK with plentiful and cheap renewable electricity, the UK Government needs to unlock support for cheap, popular and effective renewables like offshore wind.”

Fergus Cole
Fergus Cole

Fergus is a journalist specialising in the personal finance, energy and broadband sectors. He also has a passion for travel and adventure so tries to make the most of this in any spare time he gets.

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