Renewable sources delivered the equivalent of 59.4 per cent of Scotland’s gross electricity consumption in 2015 – up from 49.9 per cent in 2014.
This means that the 2015 50 per cent renewable electricity target has been met and exceeded.
Renewable sources of electricity generation in 2015 were up 14 per cent on 2014 and are again the single largest contributor to electricity generation in Scotland at a record 42 per cent of Scotland’s total output (including exports) – higher than both nuclear (35 per cent) and fossil fuels (22 per cent), statistics published today have revealed.
Scotland continued to be a net exporter of electricity, exporting 29 per cent of all electricity generation in 2015, while Scotland’s renewable generation made up approximately 26 per cent of the total UK renewable output in 2015.
Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said: “Today’s figures show that Scotland’s renewable energy sector is stronger than ever and our early adoption of clean, green energy technology and infrastructure was the right thing to do. It is fantastic news that renewables are now, for the first time, Scotland’s biggest electricity generator, and that just under 60 per cent of Scotland’s gross electricity demand could be met by renewables.
“Despite damaging policy changes from the UK Government, which we continue to seek to have reviewed, we will continue to harness – and bolster – Scotland’s renewables potential, both in generation and infrastructure. At the end of Q3 2016, there was 8.3 G W of installed renewables electricity capacity in Scotland, an increase of 8 per cent over the year.
“The Scottish Government is a strong driver of a progressive agenda on tackling harmful climate change. Today’s figures show that a low carbon economy is not just a practical way forward, but that Scotland’s clean, green energy resources are playing an increasingly crucial role in the security of Scotland’s energy supply.
“We will set out our plans for future progress towards a secure, sustainable low carbon energy sector in our draft Energy Strategy which is due to be published in January.”
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.”