Scottish renewable energy overtakes nuclear in 2014

Scotland has broken renewable energy generation records, producing 10.3TWh of electricity in the first half of 2014 and overtaking nuclear as the country's main source of power.

According to new independent figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), renewables have generated 32% more electricity than any other source of power in Scotland.

The data also shows that nuclear, coal and gas-fired electricity generation produced 7.8TWh, 5.6TWh and 1.4TWh respectively over the same period.

Scottish Renewables chief executive Niall Stuart said: “This important milestone is good news for anyone who cares about Scotland’s economy, our energy security and our efforts to tackle climate change.

“Every unit of power generated from renewables means less carbon emitted from the burning of fossil fuels, decreases our reliance on imported energy and supports jobs and investment in communities across Scotland.

“The renewables industry has come a long way in a short space of time, but there is still plenty of potential for further growth.

“Offshore wind and marine energy are still in the early stages of development but could make a big contribution to our future energy needs if they get the right support from government. That support includes the delivery of grid connections to the islands, home to the UK’s very best wind, wave and tidal sites.”

Cutting emissions

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks described the announcement as ‘historic’ and said it represents a ‘major step on the way to Scotland becoming a 100% renewable nation’.

“Last month, while nuclear reactors were forced to shut because of cracks, Scotland’s renewables were quietly and cleanly helping to keep the lights on in homes across the country,” said Banks. “Wind turbines in Scotland alone generated enough electricity to supply three million homes in the UK – equivalent to 126% of the electricity needs of every home north of the border.

“Put simply, renewables work and are helping to cut climate change emissions and create jobs in Scotland.”

In October, the Scottish Government approved 500 wind turbines spread across four offshore wind farms in the Forth and Tay region.

Lois Vallely

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