Editor’s note: initially, a graph of the UK electricity production mix was included in this piece — it has been removed.
If only we could all be like Scotland, which, according to the latest Energy Statistics from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, are on track for its highest ever renewable energy output. In fact, Scotland could produce almost a third of its electricity needs from renewable energy by the end of this year.
“2011 has been an exceptional year for renewable energy in Scotland. These figures show that it is on course to be truly the best year yet,” said Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing.
“We have seen momentous progress towards our goal of generating the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity needs from renewables and more from other sources by 2020, with enough renewable energy capacity installed to more than meet our interim target of 31 per cent” (a target that was not long ago moved from 2025 to 2020).
According to the latest energy statistics, Scotland managed to produce, in the first three quarters of 2011, 94 percent of 2010’s overall total (24.1 percent of produced electricity) from renewable energy sources, and 83 percent of the previous record year, 2009, which saw 27.4 percent of total electricity demand in Scotland delivered by renewables. With a full quarter of statistics left, it is unsurprising Scotland authorities are so confident.
“This year projects were switched on representing 750 million pounds of investment in renewables, and a staggering 46 billion pounds of investment is in the pipeline,” Mr Ewing said.
“But most importantly we have taken real steps to ensure that communities all over Scotland will benefit from the renewable energy generated in their area, with a community benefit register which will help empower communities, as well as loans projects to help them develop renewable energy projects of their own.”
These 2011 statistics were released alongside the overall figures for 2010, which showed renewable installed capacity in Scotland reached an all time high of 4.3 gigawatts over the year. Scotland also continued to be a net exporter of electricity, exporting 21 percent of electricity generated throughout 2010.