Scotland’s renewables sector displaces record amount of CO2

More than 10 million tonnes of CO2 emissions were displaced by renewable electricity generation in Scotland in 2012 - up by almost a quarter from the previous year, according to new figures.

Government figures show that Scotland’s renewable electricity industry generated 14,825 gigawatt hours (GWh) in 2012, displacing 10.3 Mt (million tonnes) of CO2, a 24% increase on the 8.3Mt of CO2 displaced in 2011.

The statistics were published in response to a Parliamentary Question tabled by Eilidh Whiteford MP, Banff and Buchan.

Commenting on the figures, member organisation Scottish Renewables chief executive Niall Stuart said: “Ten million tonnes is the equivalent of removing 99.1% of carbon emissions generated from every car, bus, lorry and train journey in Scotland.”

“Renewables now generate the equivalent of 40% of the demand for power from every home and business in the country, support thousands of jobs across Scotland and are making a massive dent in carbon emissions.

“The sector is delivering exactly what government wants – jobs, investment and lower carbon emissions from our economy.”

Highlighting the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) fifth assessment, which finds that human influence has been the dominant cause of global warming since the mid-20th century, Stuart called for greater support for renewables.

“Last week’s climate change report reinforced the need for concerted action to reduce carbon emissions if we are even to limit the impact of global warming, and these figures show that investment in renewables is already delivering results”.

Also reacting to the figures, director of WWF Scotland Lang Banks said: “These figures clearly show that renewable energy is making a massive contribution to reducing Scotland’s climate change emissions. This contribution will only continue to grow as we move ever closer to securing all of our electricity from pollution-free sources.

“They certainly nail the lie by those who claim renewables, such as wind power, don’t make a difference. Renewables certainly do make a difference: cutting emissions as well as creating jobs,” he added.

Leigh Stringer

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