Scotland’s world-leading renewables sector has helped catapult the country into the top three European countries producing electricity from them, according to the latest statistics.
Figures for last year from the Scottish Government show that 97% of Scotland’s electricity was produced from renewable sources and, when compared with the latest data from the European body Eurostat, for 2019, Scotland is in the top three, with only Norway and Iceland producing more electricity from renewables that us.
Amongst the other nations behind Scotland in the renewables league table are Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
Scotland is also well ahead of the UK as a whole with just over a third (35%) of its energy from renewable sources.
Last year was a record year for the generation of renewable electricity in Scotland with 31.8 terawatt-hours (TWh) generated – a 4.2% increase on the 2019 figure.
A total of 97.4% of gross energy consumption came from renewables, a rise of 8% on the year before.
Scotland’s renewable generation in 2020 was equivalent to powering all households in the country for almost three and a half years; charging almost 7 billion phones for a year; or running all Scottish fridges for more than eight years.
Of the Scottish Government’s renewable electricity target for 2015-2020, onshore wind accounted for 60.3% of the total, offshore wind 10.7%, and renewable hydro 18.1%, with other sources making up 8.3%.
The record renewable generation led to Scotland’s figure for net exports of electricity reaching its highest to date at 19.3TWh, which had an estimated wholesale market value of £0.76 billion.
With most of our renewable energy generation continuing to come from wind (23.2TWh), it is hardly surprising that major projects are in the pipeline for development – a total of 14 gigawatts (GW), 2GW of which are already under construction, mainly offshore wind initiatives.
Natalie Don, an SNP MSP and member of the Net Zero committee, said the figures were good news as we approached COP26 in Glasgow.
“Scotland is a world leader in producing electricity from renewable sources and we continue to increase our capacity to do so and provide a surplus to be exported to other countries around the world,” she said.
“In the year of COP26, Scotland will be on the world stage where we will be able to showcase our abilities to develop technologies and innovation to continue to produce clean energy for not only the people of Scotland to use but for it to be sold elsewhere.”