Scotland has beaten its 2011 renewable energy target, reaching 13,750 GWh over the last year, according to the latest figures.
Official government statistics published on Friday, which showed overall UK greenhouse gas emissions were down 7%, indicate that the amount of electricity generated in Scotland rose 45% in the last year compared to 2010.
Based on the assumption that gross consumption has not changed radically, Scotland looks as if it met 35% of its electricity needs from renewable sources last year, compared with a target of 31%.
The boost was driven by wind generation, which saw a record high of just over 7000 GWh in 2011, up 45% on last year and more than double that achieved in 2007.
Hydro generation also reached a record high of more than 5300 GWh, up 63% on the previous year, which admittedly suffered from low rainfall.
But the increases were also driven by more installed capacity, now up to 4796 MW, which grew by 416 MW or 9.5% on the previous year.
“It’s official – 2011 was a record breaker, with enough green electricity being produced in Scotland to comfortably beat our interim target,” commented Energy Minister Fergus Ewing. “We are seeing great progress towards our goal of generating the equivalent of 100% of Scotland’s electricity needs from renewables by 2020.”
Ewing adds that Scotland has a pipeline of developments worth £46 billion and has seen major firms including Gamesa and Samsung commit to invest in the region.
“Scotland is a genuine world leader in green energy and our targets reflect the scale of our natural resources, the strength of our energy capabilities and the value we place on creating new, sustainable industries,” said Ewing.
UK greenhouse gas emissions down 7% in 2011 (30-Apr)
Scotland fills renewables funding gap with £103 million investment (23-Mar)
Scotland welcomes £1 billion renewables investment (9-Mar)
Samsung chooses Scotland for £100 million turbine venture (1-Feb)
Article source: http://www.energyefficiencynews.com/i/4988/