Scotland’s renewable energy sector is displacing more carbon emissions than ever – a 120% increase on only five years ago, new figures show. This is equivalent to removing all Scotland’s cars, buses, trains and lorries from roads and railways
In 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, renewable energy projects including wind farms, hydro power and solar prevented more than one million tonnes of CO2 per month from entering the atmosphere.
The reduction – 12.3 million tonnes in total – is the highest ever recorded in Scotland, and up 119% on 2010, when 5,611 million tonnes were displaced. The figure is equivalent to more CO2 than is emitted from every single car, bus and train journey taken over the course of a year in Scotland.
The statistics were published in response to a Parliamentary Question tabled by Callum McCaig MP and answered by UK Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom MP.
Joss Blamire, Senior Policy Manager for Scottish Renewables, said: “For the fourth year in a row these figures show an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide which has been displaced by Scotland’s renewable energy industry.
“The figure is equivalent to almost a quarter (23%) of Scotland’s total carbon emissions which is clearly good news for our environment, and is even more impressive when you consider the wider economic and social benefits that the sector brings”.
Mr Blamire said the new statistics came at an important time ahead of the Paris climate talks in December. “We regularly hear Amber Rudd, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, talk about how committed the UK Government is to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and meeting carbon targets, but we need to see that being put into action and a long-term plan set out to support the sector’s continued growth.
“With only two months to go, it is more important now than ever before to lead by example and place renewable energy centre stage of the forthcoming climate talks in Paris.”
Commenting on the news, WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “That renewables in Scotland are now helping to displace the equivalent of over a million tonnes of climate pollution every month is fantastic news, and proof that a renewable power sector is the foundation of a truly low carbon economy – keeping the lights on, creating jobs and cutting emissions.
“While we need to see a change in attitude towards renewables at Westminster, there’s still much that we can do here in Scotland. With next year’s elections fast approaching, we look to all parties to continue to back Scotland’s clean energy transition by supporting the continued deployment of renewables. With the right policies in place, Scotland could become the first EU country to have an almost entirely renewable generation system by 2030.”