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Record breaking CO2 saved by Scottish renewables industry

Rachelle Money

Director of Communications

Posted on 01/10/2015 by Rachelle Money

Scotland’s renewable energy sector is displacing more carbon emissions than ever – around 120% increase on only five years ago, new figures show.

In 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, renewable energy projects including wind farms, hydro power and solar saved more than one million tonnes of CO2 per month from entering the atmosphere.

The reduction – 12.3 million tonnes in total – is the highest ever recorded in Scotland, and up 119% on 2010, when 5,611 million tonnes were displaced. The figure is equivalent to more CO2 than is emitted from every single car, bus and train journey taken over the course of a year in Scotland.

The statistics were published in response to a Parliamentary Question tabled by Callum McCaig MP and answered by UK Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom MP.

Joss Blamire, Senior Policy Manager for Scottish Renewables, said: “For the fourth year in a row these figures show an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide which has been displaced by Scotland’s renewable energy industry.

“The figure is equivalent to almost a quarter (23%) of Scotland’s total carbon emissions which is clearly good news for our environment, and is even more impressive when you consider the wider economic and social benefits that the sector brings”.

Mr Blamire said the new statistics came at an important time ahead of the Paris climate talks in December.

“We regularly hear Amber Rudd, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, talk about how committed the UK Government is to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and meeting carbon targets, but we need to see that being put into action and a long-term plan set out to support the sector’s continued growth. 

“With only two months to go, it is more important now than ever before to lead by example and place renewable energy centre stage of the forthcoming climate talks in Paris.”




Notes to Editors:

  1. The figures were obtained in response to a Parliamentary Question which asked the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many tonnes of carbon dioxide were displaced by renewable (a) electricity and (b) heat generation in (i) the UK, (ii) England, (iii) Scotland and (iv) Wales in 2014. The question was tabled on September 9, 2015. The following response was given: 


The table below shows how many tonnes of carbon dioxide were displaced by renewable electricity in each of the UK, England, Scotland and Wales in 2014.

  UK    England   Scotland   Wales  
Carbon displaced by renewable electricity generation (million tonnes)
41.5 26.0 12.3 2.2
  1. Scottish Renewables Renewables in Numbers web page shows the progress of carbon emissions displaced by the sector since 2008.
  2. Scotland’s total carbon emissions can be found in the Scottish Government Environment Statistics document.
  3. Scotland’s total domestic transport (including all cars, buses, trains and lorries), barring only international air travel and shipping, emits 10.53 million tonnes of CO2 per year according to Scottish Government statistics