Scotland’s ambitions to generate 100 per cent of its electricity through renewable energy by 2020 could well become a reality according to a data-based report.
Scotland’s Renewable Energy Sector In Numbers – an online portal by industry body Scottish Renewables which pulls together figures from a range of sources – shows figures on energy capacity, output, jobs and investment, and emissions which were buried away in dense government reports.
The portal demonstrates that current generators, with a total capacity of 4.9 GW, generated 13,735 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity in 2011. It suggests a further 12 GW could be generated by projects that are already in the pipeline, although the majority of them are stuck in the planning stage.
If all of these projects make it through by 2020, they have the potential to produce around 37GWh of electricity at current efficiency levels, close to the 39GWh of electricity Scotland consumes at present.
Niall Stuart, (pictured) chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “These figures show Scotland’s renewables industry is very much bucking the economic trend. At a time of sluggish growth the renewable electricity sector is expanding by more than 10% a year and now generates the equivalent of 35% of annual demand.”
Meanwhile, the renewables planning drive continues with a proposed five-turbine extension to ScottishPower Renewables’s Whitelee Windfarm, near Glasgow. The extension would generate up to 12 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy and increase the overall capacity of Europe’s largest onshore wind farm to 551 MW, enough to power the annual needs of around 300,000 homes.
Mr Stuart also welcomed the news that new figures revealed the renewable sector in Scotland has attracted more than £2.8bn of capital investment since the start of 2009, evidence he said that the “renewables industry in Scotland is very much bucking the economic trend.”
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