Renewables officially largest electricity generator in Scotland

Almost half of (49.7%) of gross electricity consumption came from renewable sources in 2014, according to new figures from Holyrood.

Figures released today show renewables are now the single largest contributor to electricity generation in Scotland at a record 38% of total output – higher than both nuclear (33%) and fossil fuels (28%) for the first time.

Renewable sources delivered 49.7% of gross electricity consumption in 2014 – up from 44.4% in 2013, which means that the 2015 50% renewable electricity target has almost been met one year ahead of schedule.

Renewable generation in 2014 was up 11.9 per cent on 2013 (which was a previous record year for renewables) and accounted for a record 38 per cent of total Scottish generation. 

Scotland generated 49,929 GWh of electricity in 2014 with renewable electricity generation delivering 18,962 GWh.

Welcoming the figures, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “The historic agreement reached at the global climate change summit in Paris earlier this month sends a signal of certainty about the global economy’s low carbon future, in the same way as Scotland did through our world-leading climate legislation in 2009.

“Today’s figures show that Scotland’s renewables sector is stronger than ever and our early adoption of clean, green energy technology and infrastructure was the right thing to do. It is fantastic news that renewables are now Scotland’s biggest electricity generator, and that nearly half of gross electricity consumption comes from renewables.

“Despite damaging policy changes from the UK Government, we will continue to harness – and bolster – Scotland’s renewables potential, both in generation and infrastructure.” 

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government and energy issues