A sharp rise in the value of exports from Scotland’s utilities sector has underlined the growing opportunities that the renewable energy sector is providing to Scotland’s economy.
Recently published figures show that the combined annual value of Scotland’s exports to the rest of the UK and the international community from the utilities sector has risen sharply, from just over £3 billion in 2007 to over £5 billion in 2011.
This 65% rise in the value of exports from the utilities sector mirrors a 67% increase in Scotland’s renewable electricity output from 8,215 GWh in 2007 to 13,753 GWh in 2011.
Renewables met 36.3 per cent of Scots electricity consumption in 2011
New figures for the first three quarters of 2012 show Scotland’s renewable electricity output was on track for the best year ever.
The figures, which were released yesterday morning by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, point to 2012 being a record year for renewable electricity generation in Scotland, with the first three quarters of 2012 generating 15.2 per cent more electricity than the same period in 2011, the previous record breaking year.
The statistics show that renewables met 36.3 per cent of gross electricity consumption in 2011, confirming that Scotland has exceeded its interim target of generating the equivalent of 31 per cent of electricity demand from renewables by 2011. This is important progress towards the Government’s 2020 target of the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity needs met from renewable energy, as well as more from other sources.
Scottish renewable electricity made up 39.9 per cent of the UK’s renewable energy generation in 2011. Scotland continues to be a net exporter of electricity, exporting over 26 per cent of generation in 2011, up from 21 per cent in 2010.
The figures also show that final energy consumption figures are 6.2 per cent lower than the 2005-7 baseline. This indicates that Scotland is on track to meet the 2020 final energy reduction target of 12 per cent by 2020.
. . . but figures rubbished by John Muir Trust
The renewable energy industry has published figures which, it claims, show Scotland is producing enough low carbon electricity to offset emissions from Longannet power station in Fife.
According to figures just published by industry body Scottish Renewables 15% of Scotland’s total carbon emissions have now been displaced by renewables projects. The representative of the renewable energy sector said the latest figures show wind and hydro developments have displaced 8.36 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. THis is the equivalent of taking 3.5 million cars off the roads or turning off Longannet, the country’s biggest coal-fired power station.
While most people welcomed the news the anti-wind John Muir Trust rubbished the figures citing their usual claim that emissions for turbine manufacture, transmission and ‘back-up for wind’ had not been taken into account.
Local communitites encouraged to get involved
Local communities are being encouraged to get involved in Scotland’s plans for offshore renewable energy, as a series of public meetings kick off over the coming weeks. The meetings will provide information about the planning process on how Scotland can utilise offshore wind, wave and tidal energy, and seek the views of members of the public to help inform this work.
Marine Scotland will be hosting the public meetings during September 2012. Meetings will take place in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Kirkwall, Newton Stewart and Stornoway.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:
“We are at an early stage in the process of identifying further potential locations for offshore renewable projects. It’s very important that the views of local communities are carefully considered, as we want to answer any questions and be open and accessible about how these plans are being progressed. I would encourage all those with an interest to come along to the meetings taking place, find out more and take the opportunity to share their views. I am confident that by working in partnership with local communities we can successfully meet our ambitions to make Scotland a greener nation.”
All events will include a drop-in session from 13:00-18:00 and an evening presentation and discussion from 19:00-21:00.
- Edinburgh, September 3: Premier Inn, Morrison Street, Haymarket
- Kirkwall (Orkney), September 4: Kirkwall Town Hall, Broad Street
- Aberdeen, September 5: Camelite Hotel, Stirling Street
- Glasgow, September 6: Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Sauchiehall Street
- Newton Stewart (Dumfries & Galloway), September 7: McMillan Hall, Dashwood Square
- Stornoway (Lewis), September 27: Bayhead Bridge Centre, Lamont Lane
- Inverness, September 28: Crown Court Townhouse Hotel, 25 Southside Road
Scotland on track for 2020 100% equivalent target
Figures issued lasrt month show that output from renewables in quarter one 2012 increased by 45.5 per cent on the same period the year before.
Provisional figures from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) show that renewable electricity generation in Scotland was 4,590 gigawatt hours (GWh) in the first quarter of 2012, up 1,435 GWh on Q1 2011.
The provisional figures also show an increase of 9.8 per cent or 435 megawatts (MW) in installed renewables electricity capacity in Scotland in Q1 2012 compared to Q1 2011.
DECC also issued revised statistics for 2011 which show that renewable electricity generation in Scotland was 13,735 GWh in 2011, a record high level, up 44.3 per cent on 2010, and up 97.3 per cent on 2006.
The revised 2011 figures continue to show good progress towards the Scottish Government’s 2020 target of the equivalent of 100 per cent of electricity demand coming from renewables.
Assuming gross consumption in 2011 was similar to 2010, that means around 35 per cent of Scotland’s electricity needs came from renewables in 2011, beating the Scottish Government’s interim target of 31 per cent.