Scottish renewable electricity generation reached record levels in the country's first quarter, with 8,877GWh of electricity being generated, enough to power approximately 88 per cent of the country's households for a year.
The UK's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) released this week showed that renewable generation in Scotland for the first quarter was up 17 per cent on the same quarter of 2018, generating 8,877GWh of electricity.
Similarly, Scotland's renewable electricity capacity continues to grow, rising from 10.4GW in March of 2018 to 11.3GW in March of 2019. Further, Scotland's net electricity exports are at their highest levels since the fourth quarter of 2017, with a net 4,543 GWh exported – equivalent to the electricity needed to power over 1.1 million households for a year.
'These figures show Scotland's renewable energy sector continues to go from strength to strength,' said Scotland's Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse
'Last year, we were able to meet the equivalent of almost 74% of our electricity demand from renewable sources, and the first quarter in 2019 shows that positive trend continues,” he said.
'We are seeing the growing importance of offshore wind, with capacity and generation both continuing to rise – with further projects under construction. I am delighted that installed capacity grew by 9.1% to reach a record 11.3 GW by March this year.
'Despite damaging policy changes from the UK Government, particularly the inexcusable removal of an effective route to market for onshore wind, the Scottish government continues to provide strong support for Scotland's renewable energy sector. Generation and infrastructure investment continues, not least because of the importance in preventing the damaging impacts of climate change.'
Unsurprisingly, the news was widely applauded by the country's renewable energy groups.
'These are amazing figures for the first quarter of this year, with 88% of Scotland's demand being met by renewables, and electricity exports also at the highest level since 2017,' said Robin Parker, Climate and Energy Policy Manager at WWF Scotland
'We're in the grips of a climate crisis and renewables will continue to play a vital role in powering the country, creating jobs and reducing climate emissions.
'In order that Scotland reaches its full potential and can provide the rest of the UK with plentiful and cheap renewable electricity, the UK Government needs to unlock support for cheap, popular and effective renewables like onshore wind.'
'This fantastic new figure shows how Scotland's remarkable renewable energy resource is being harnessed by technologies like wind, hydro, biomass, solar, marine energy and more, and is continuing to deliver environmental and economic benefits across Scotland,' added Claire Mack, CEO of Scottish Renewables.
'Renewables are now producing more of our electricity than ever before, reducing the carbon emissions which cause climate change and driving jobs and investment across the country.
'Scotland's renewable energy industry employs 17,700 people, and with the right support from government can continue to deliver enormous economic benefits as we transition to a low-carbon energy system and strive to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045.'