Renewables dominate Scottish electricity production

22nd December 2015

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  • Mitigation ,
  • Generation ,
  • Conventional


Christopher Johnson

For the first time, more Scottish electricity is being generated by renewable sources than any other, government statistics confirmed today.

Renewables delivered 38% of electricity in Scotland in 2014, according to statistics published today by the energy and climate department (Decc). However, the Scottish government's 2015 target for 50% of electricity to come from renewables is expressed in terms of gross electricity consumption, which means generation plus transfers into Scotland, minus transfers out of Scotland.

Once this is taken into account, renewables accounted for 49.7% of gross electricity consumption in Scotland in 2014, which means that the target has almost been met one year ahead of schedule.

Scottish renewables also contributed around 29% of the UK's total renewable electricity output in 2014, according to the data.

Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing said: "Despite damaging policy changes from the UK government we will continue to harness - and bolster - Scotland's renewables potential, both in generation and infrastructure."

WWF Scotland welcomed the figures, but warned that there was still a lot of work to do to reduce electricity demand, and called on all political parties to come up with new energy efficiency policies ahead of next year's Scottish elections.

Decc's data for the UK as a whole shows that renewable electricity generation was up 33% between July and September 2015 compared with the same quarter in 2014.

As a share of the UK's electricity, renewable generation increased to 23.5%, up from 17.5% in the third quarter of 2014. Offshore wind increased by 52%, and onshore wind by 30%.

Solar PV generation increased by 73% due to rising capacity, while biomass generation grew by 16%, mainly due to the conversion from coal of Drax power station. Hydro generation was 34% higher.

Nuclear generation accounted for 22% of total electricity generated in the third quarter of 2015, an increase from the 20.5% share in the third quarter of 2014.

Meanwhile, the share of electricity generated from fossil fuels dropped. Gas accounted for 35% of electricity generated in the third quarter of 2015, down from 38% in the same period in 2014. Coal accounted for 17%, down from 21%.

Coal production in the third quarter of 2015 was 52% lower than the same period a year earlier due to mines closing and some other facilities producing less coal as they are coming to the end of operation, Decc said.

Coal imports were 46% lower with generators' demand for coal down by 19%, according to the statistics.


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