Renewables become Scotland’s biggest source of energy

It has been a remarkable year for the renewables sector in Scotland with figures released showing the industry is now the biggest provider of electricity in the country – beating nuclear and fossil fuels for the first time.

Renewables in 2015 hailed a success story
Renewables in 2015 hailed a success story

The latests statistics from the UK Government reveal 49.7 per cent of gross electricity consumption in Scotland has come from renewable sources.

The statistic has been welcomed by conservationists, with Lang Banks, director of WWF Scotland, claiming as one of many successes to celebrate in 2015.

Mr Banks said: “2015 saw Scotland’s transition to a fully renewable nation continue apace, with record levels of wind and solar power output plus record numbers of people employed in the green energy sector.

“Almost 50 per cent of Scotland’s electricity needs is now met by renewables, a year ahead of a set target.

“On top of that, there has been an 80 per cent drop in carrier bag used in Scotland since the 5p charge was introduced – equalling 650 million bags.

“A record 21,000 people are now employed Scotland’s green energy sector. Also, a record 2.3 million tonnes of CO2 were displaced by renewables in Scotland.

“Following on from the progress made at the Paris climate talks, during 2016 we hope to see increased efforts to move us toward a low-carbon economy.

“In the run up to next May’s election we’ll be particularly keen to see each of the political parties set out their plans for tackling climate change that will create jobs, improve health and reduce inequality.”

The latest figures just released show renewables are now the single largest contributor to electricity generation in Scotland at a record 38% of total output – higher than both nuclear (33%) and fossil fuels (28%) for the first time, statistics published today have revealed.

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This means that the 2015 50 per cent renewable electricity target has almost been met one year ahead of schedule.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “The historic agreement reached at the global climate change summit in Paris earlier this month sends a signal of certainty about the global economy’s low carbon future, in the same way as Scotland did through our world-leading climate legislation in 2009.

“Today’s figures show that Scotland’s renewables sector is stronger than ever and our early adoption of clean, green energy technology and infrastructure was the right thing to do. It is fantastic news that renewables are now Scotland’s biggest electricity generator, and that nearly half of gross electricity consumption comes from renewables.