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Huge rise in Scotland’s renewable power output

Figures show 2017 was record year for green energy

Scottish Renewables report that the amount of power produced by Scotland’s renewable energy industry grew by 26% between 2016 and 2017.

Almost 25 terawatt hours – enough to power all Scotland’s homes more than twice over – were produced by the country’s fleet of wind, hydro, solar, biomass, tidal and green gas generators in 2017.

New UK Government figures also show Scotland is punching above its weight in renewable energy generation, with 25% of all UK renewable electricity produced north of the border in 2017.

Claire Mack, Chief Executive of industry body Scottish Renewables, said: “Scotland has an enormous renewable energy resource: our winds, waves, tides, rainfall and even our longer daylight hours are tremendous assets to the country, and renewable energy enables us to use them to produce direct economic and environmental benefits.

“These figures show Scotland as a renewable energy powerhouse, producing more electricity than ever and transferring much of it to markets in the rest of Great Britain, all the time reducing carbon emissions from our power sector.

“What’s also clear is that with a turnover of almost £5,500 million in 2016, renewable energy continues to more than pay its way in Scotland. Continued support from governments in both Edinburgh and London will secure those benefits for many years to come.”

A record high of 4.8TWh of electricity was transferred from Scotland to England in the final quarter of 2017, almost double that recorded in the same period a year earlier.

Net electricity transfers from Scotland to England were up 31% in 2017 compared to 2016.

Claire Mack continued: “Almost all (95%) of the increase in Scotland’s renewable energy capacity was due to new onshore wind capacity, and further increases are expected in coming years as the country’s burgeoning offshore wind sector begins to generate clean power.

“Onshore wind is our cheapest form of new electricity generation and is enjoying record support from the public, but remains largely unable to compete in new power auctions.

"That position is preventing UK consumers from taking advantage of the cost and carbon savings which onshore wind can provide, and we’re working hard to ensure future projects are able to find a way to sell the power they could produce.”

The figures are provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s UK Energy Statistics Report. The report also shows wind generated 15% of the UK’s entire electricity demand in 2017 – the highest annual amount ever – up from 11% in 2016. Renewables overall provided 29.4%, up from 25%.

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