Statistics published today by DECC show Scotland has almost met its 50 per cent renewable electricity target a year ahead of schedule.
The provisional Renewable Electricity Generation 2014 National Statistics show 49.6 per cent of gross electricity consumption came from renewable sources in Scotland last year – an increase from 44.4 per cent in 2013.
The provisional figures for renewable electricity show that renewables generation increased last year by 11.7 per cent and is now estimated at 18,959 GWh. This is approximately enough electricity to power the equivalent of an additional 430,000 Scottish households for a year, compared to 2013.
This included an increase in hydro, bioenergy and wind generation with hydro generation at a record high level, up 26.0 per cent from 2013 to 5,503 GWh, and another record year for wind output, up 4.0 per cent from 2013 to 11,592 GWh.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said, "Renewable electricity generation continues to go from strength to strength in Scotland – and I am pleased we have almost met our 50 per cent renewable electricity target a year ahead of schedule. Harnessing Scotland’s vast energy wealth has multiple benefits – reducing our carbon emissions, creating jobs and investment and helping keep the lights on across these islands. A recent publication on the low carbon sector showed in 2013 there were 45, 000 people employed across the low carbon sector and its supply chain in Scotland making a vital contribution to our economy. 2014 was also another recording breaking year for wind output up 4 per cent and the Scottish Government remains committed to continuing this upward trend. The recent independent survey by YouGov shows further support for the development of wind power, with an increase to 71 per cent in public backing. The Scottish Government has made its energy policy a top priority and has achieved great progress, despite being limited in terms of its devolved responsibilities. We look forward to proposals for more powers encompassing the necessary levers to deliver Scottish priorities."