Scottish renewables industry displaces more than 8 million tonnes of CO2
22 October 2012
New figures have revealed that electricity generated from renewables in Scotland has displaced 8.36 million tonnes of harmful carbon dioxide emissions, offsetting the CO2 emissions from Scotland’s largest fossil fuel based power station.
Expressed another way; it’s the equivalent of removing some 3.5 million cars off the roads – that’s more than every licensed car in the country.
Joss Blamire, Senior Policy Manager of Scottish Renewables, said: “The latest figures show that Scottish renewables projects displaced the equivalent of 15 per cent of the country’s total carbon emissions, which is 55.7 Mt CO2.
“This is proof that Scotland’s renewables industry is establishing itself as one of the most effective weapons in tackling climate change and addressing the greatest threat to our natural environment.
“Renewable electricity produced in Scotland by technologies such as wind and hydro already amounts to over one third of the total used in all of our homes and businesses, and these latest figures are evidence that we are delivering further real benefits.”
Dr Richard Dixon, Director of WWF Scotland, said the industry was making “a huge difference” to Scotland’s climate change emissions.
“Climate change is the challenge of our age and Scotland’s renewable energy industries are leading the way towards the kind of zero-carbon economy that will help us prosper in an uncertain world. This is a very significant contribution to reducing Scotland overall emissions and gives the lie to those who claim that renewables do not make a real difference. Meeting Scotland’s 100 per cent by 2020 target for renewable electricity will make a huge difference to Scotland’s climate change emissions.
“This is such a huge amount of CO2 that it is equivalent to turning off a whole coal-fired power station.”
Notes to Editors:
1. The figures were obtained in response to a parliamentary question which asked how many tonnes of carbon dioxide were displaced by renewable electricity generation in (a) the UK, (b) England, (c) Scotland and (d) Wales in 2011.
The following response was given;
CO2displaced by electricity generated from renewable energy projects (tonnes)
These figures were calculated using the total amount of electricity generated by renewable projects in each country in 2011 multiplied by an estimate of the amount of carbon dioxide emissions per GWh of electricity supplied for a combination of fossil fuels (which is based on the known fossil fuel mix for electricity generation in the UK in 2011).
2. In Scotland at the end of 2010 the total number of motor vehicles licensed in Scotland was 2.7 million, 84% (2.268 million) were cars. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Transport-Travel/TrendMotorVehicles
3. The total CO2 emissions from cars in the UK in 2010 was 67.4Mt (million tonnes) http://www.smmt.co.uk/co2report/#total-co2-emissions (this is the last year for total CO2 emissions) while the number of cars in the UK in 2010 was (28.42m) http://www.dft.gov.uk/statistics/releases/vehicle-licensing-statistics-2010/.This gives an average COs emission for each UK car of 2.37 tonnes. Therefore, given the total emissions saved by renewables in Scotland (8.364Mt), we can assume that we would take 3.53 million cars off the road.
4. Longannet is the largest fossil fuel based power station in Scotland and emits 8.5 million tonnes of CO2 per annum. http://apps.sepa.org.uk/spripa/Search/ByPollutant/Results.aspx?Media=air&Pollutant=2&Year=2011&Sort=6
5. Scotland’s CO2 emissions in 2010 were 55.7Mt http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2012/07/GHG17072012