The Scottish renewable energy generation in 2011 is expected to have reached record levels. New figures show Scotland’s renewable energy output for the first three quarters of 2011 has already delivered 94% of the previous year’s total, and 83% of the previous record year.
The statistics also demonstrate that there is enough generation capacity in Scotland to meet the country’s interim target of 31% of electricity demand met from renewables in 2011. This is important progress towards the Government’s 2020 target of the equivalent of 100% of Scotland’s electricity needs met from renewable energy, as well as more from other sources.
“2011 has been an exceptional year for renewable energy in Scotland. These figures show that it is on course to be truly the best year yet,” comments Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing. “This year projects were switched on representing £750 million of investment in renewables, and a staggering £46 billion of investment is in the pipeline.”
He adds: “But most importantly we have taken real steps to ensure that communities all over Scotland will benefit from the renewable energy generated in their area, with a community benefit register which will help empower communities, as well as loans projects to help them develop renewable energy projects of their own.”
The 2011 figures were published alongside figures for the whole of 2010, which show renewable installed capacity in Scotland reached a record high of 4.3 gigawatts (GW) over the year, and that Scotland continued to be a net exporter of electricity in 2010, exporting 21% of electricity generated.
As a result of the driest year since 2003, hydro electric generation fell in Scotland by a third in 2010, which led to a fall in overall renewable output from a peak in 2009. Renewable sources delivered 24.1% of total electricity demand in Scotland in 2010, down from 27.4% in 2009. However, this drop has been more than made up for in 2011.