The first half of 2014 saw renewables become the largest power source in Scotland, beating nuclear and fossil fuels, according to figures from the National Grid. The news has been described as an “important milestone”.
In total, the renewables sector generated a record 10.3 terawatt-hours (TWh) in the first six months of 2014. This compares to the 7.8 TWh generated by nuclear, which was previously Scotland’s main source of power, and 5.6 TWh and 1.4 TWh for coal and gas respectively.
Scotland has a target of generating 100% of its energy needs from renewables by 2020. The latest figures demonstrate “good progress” said Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing.
“The fact that energy from renewables has exceeded that from nuclear in the first half of 2014 highlights the vast potential of renewable generation to provide a safe, secure and cost effective means of electricity generation for this country, together with appropriate levels of thermal generation,” he added.
“It is vital that appropriate support for renewables in Scotland is maintained following the introduction of electricity market reform in the UK.”
Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, described the announcement as an “important milestone” that shows investment in the sector has helped deliver more power. He added that it was good news for anyone “who cares about Scotland’s economy, our energy security and our efforts to tackle climate change”.
Stuart continued, “Every unit of power generated from renewables means less carbon emitted from the burning of fossil fuels, decreases our reliance on imported energy and supports jobs and investment in communities across Scotland.
“The renewable energy industry has come a long way in a short space of time, but there is still plenty of potential for further growth.”
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