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Published on December 23rd, 2013 | by Guest Contributor

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Renewable Energy Now Has 40% Market Penetration Of Electricity In Scotland

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December 23rd, 2013 by  

Originally published on ThinkProgress.
By Katie Valentine.

shutterstock_83324149

Renewable energy use is at a record high in Scotland, according to new government figures.

In 2012, Scotland got 40.3 percent of its electricity from renewable sources — up from 36.3 percent in 2011 and just 24.1 percent in 2010. The Scottish government plans to get half of its electricity from renewable energy by 2015 — a target it said it was on track to meet — and 100 percent of its electricity by 2020. Scotland’s renewable energy numbers are much higher than many other U.K. countries — renewables produced only 8.2 percent of England’s electricity in 2012, and in Wales, 8.7 percent of electricity comes from renewable sources.

“Renewable electricity in Scotland is going from strength to strength, confirming that 2012 was a record year for generation in Scotland and that 2013 looks set to be even better,” said Scotland’s energy minister Fergus Ewing.’

Lang Banks, Director of WWF Scotland, told the BBC that if Scotland is to meet its target of renewable energy generating 100 percent of electricity by 2020, the country will need to invest more in offshore wind.

“In order to remain on target Scotland will need to deploy significant amounts of offshore wind in the near future,” he said. “It’s therefore vital that the U.K. government gives a stronger signal of its ambition on the growth of offshore wind in Scotland’s seas, as well as the necessary support needed to deliver that growth.”

Wind power is Scotland’s fastest-growing renewable energy source — in In 2012, Scotland’s wind power generation jumped by 19 percent. The country is home to the U.K.’s largest wind farm and constructed its first offshore wind farm in April 2010. The country is also working to harness tidal power and is home to world’s first commercial wave power generator.

Image: Scotland wind turbines via Shutterstock

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  • Anon

    The headline is misleading. Surely 40% of electricity is not 40% of energy, there is a lot of natural gas (and petrol) too.

  • Dave2020

    Sorry if it seems a little pedantic, but “100 percent of its electricity (from renewable energy) by 2020.” is not quite accurate.

    The Scottish Government’s target is actually for renewables to reach 100% of “electricity demand equivalent by 2020″. When the word ‘equivalent’ is left out, it changes the meaning.

    All is not rosy in the garden.

    The £5.4bn Argyll Array has just been shelved, partly due to a difficult sea bed:-
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-25364699

    The EOWDC doesn’t plan to have a single floating turbine:-
    http://www.segec.org.uk/projects/european-offshore-wind-deployment-centre

    And, if this goes ahead, it will be a seriously retrograde step:-
    http://news.stv.tv/north/250239-hywind-wind-farm-to-go-ahead-near-peterhead-after-statoil-lease-granted/

    The ‘Hywind’ concept has fundamental flaws.

  • Jouni Valkonen

    This is good progress. As wind gets more dominant, it is cheaper to flatten out electricity demand peaks using batteries and electric vehicles rather than using dispatchable fossil electricity generation. This in turn generates demand for batteries and every doubling of battery demand causes approximately 20 % reduction of the cost of grid battery systems.

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