Power failure

The claim that 40.3 per cent of the electricity consumed in Scotland in 2012 came from renewable sources (“Watt a result: 40% of electricity generated from renewables”, 20 December), is flawed.

As about a quarter of all Scotland’s electricity is exported, no-one can tell what proportion of electricity from any particular source ended up with the consumer or what proportion from any particular source was exported. Consequently, the proportion of electricity derived from renewables should not be assumed to be the same as the proportion consumed.

The only fair assumption should be that 75 per cent of energy from renewables has been consumed in Scotland. That would mean that only about 30 per cent of the consumer’s electricity came from renewables in 2012.

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Not only has the Scottish 
Government made this mistake (www.scotland.gov.uk/resource/
0044/00441050.pdf), it has merely repeated a mistake made by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, on whose data the claim is based.

In fact, while there are exports and any generation comes from non-renewable sources, the Scottish Government’s target of delivering at least 100 per cent (how could more than 100 per cent be delivered?) of gross electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2020 is impossible. 

Steuart Campbell

Dovecot Loan