SCOTLAND had a record year for renewable energy in 2017, Scottish Government data has revealed.
It said renewable power was equivalent to 69% of the nation’s electricity consumption.
In all renewables generated 25,166 GWh – up 27% on 2016 and 19% on 2015.
But green campaigners said that could be improved further if action was taken on ‘routes to market’ for those involved in the process.
Gina Hanrahan, Head of Policy at WWF Scotland said: “It’s fantastic to see the transition to a renewable-led energy system powering ahead in Scotland with nearly 70% of our electricity demand met by renewables last year and significantly increased generation and capacity this year.
“The Scottish Government’s clear vision and target for renewable generation together with support to drive the market have made this possible”
“But if the renewable sector is to continue to grow, the UK Government must urgently provide a route to market for mature technologies like onshore wind and solar.
“As the Committee on Climate Change advised today, the UK Government’s failure to take advantage of the low cost, low risk options is unfairly penalising consumers who could enjoy lower energy bills.”
Scottish renewable generation made up approximately 25% of total UK renewable generation, with wind generation in particular up 37% on 2016.
Scottish Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, welcomed these figures saying: “These figures show that Scotland’s renewable energy sector is stronger than ever with almost exactly 1GW of new capacity installed since Q1 2017 and a strong pipeline of further projects still to be constructed.
“I am delighted that the equivalent of an estimated 69% of Scotland’s electricity consumption was met from renewables in 2017.
“Despite damaging policy changes from the UK Government that will soon come into full effect, we continue to harness, galvanize and support Scotland’s renewables potential, both in generation and infrastructure, with renewable electricity capacity in Scotland reaching 10.4GW in Q1 this year.
“Scotland’s Energy Strategy recognises and builds on our achievements to date and on our country’s capacity for innovation.
“Renewable energy will play a hugely significant role in powering Scotland’s future and through the Strategy we will ensure the correct strategic decisions are taken to support this much valued sector of Scotland’s economy as it goes from strength to strength.”
WANT TO LEARN MORE? Read: Strong start for renewables following record year
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