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Scottish renewables bigger than coal or gas for the first time

Rachelle Money

Director of Communications

Posted on 20/12/2012 by Rachelle Money

Latest figures from the Department of Energy Climate Change have confirmed that Scotland’s renewable energy industry is now the second largest source of our electricity production, beating both coal and gas for the first time.

While nuclear remains the largest source of electricity production, output from renewables was more than double that of gas-fired generation in Scotland and a quarter more than coal.

Jenny Hogan, Director of Policy for Scottish Renewables, said:

“These figures confirm that Scotland’s renewables industry is making a huge impact on how we meet our energy needs. Not only is our electricity greener than ever before, it is being generated by a home-grown industry with lots of companies investing in Scotland and supporting thousands of jobs too.”

The renewables industry in Scotland attracted almost £1bn (£909m) of capital investment in the first six months of 2012 alone and supports more than 11,000 jobs.

Ms Hogan continued: “Renewables are making a significant contribution to our energy mix and are hot on the heels of nuclear, with the gap in generation almost halved in the last year. With 5.7GW (Gigawatts) of renewables in operation and a further 12GW in planning or with consent, we are well on our way to becoming the biggest source of electricity in Scotland.

“These new figures should provide some food for thought for those who have remained unconvinced about the contribution renewable energy is making to delivering our energy needs."

The DECC Energy Trends figures come at the end of what has been another very successful year for the industry.

  • Scotland has exported 26 per cent of generation in 2011, up from 20 per cent in 2010
  • The Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee inquiry into renewable energy concluded that the 2020 target of generating the equivalent of 100 per cent of our electricity from renewables was ‘achievable.’
  • Scotland’s first Marine Energy Park was announced in July
  • Analysis showed the industry has attracted £909m of capital investment in the first six months of 2012
  • A YouGov poll published in March suggested 71 per cent of Scots support wind power as part of our energy mix
  • The first comprehensive jobs study for the sector revealed there are more than 11,000 jobs in the Scottish renewables industry



Notes to Editors:

 1. Renewables generation was 5702 GWh less than nuclear in 2010 and 3164 GWh less in 2011. This represents a 44.5 per cent decrease in the gap in generation between both technologies.



Source: Decc Energy Trends, p.51.