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Scotland leading the way with renewable energy generation exceeding demand

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Renewable energy technologies generated the equivalent of 113% of Scotland’s overall electricity consumption in 2022 – the highest recorded figures to date and a 26% increase year-on-year.

Energy Secretary Neil Gray said:

“This is a significant milestone in Scotland’s journey to Net Zero. For the first time Scotland has produced more renewable electricity than it consumed, demonstrating the enormous potential of Scotland’s green economy.

“Scotland has the skills, talent and natural resources to become a global renewables powerhouse. Our ambition is not only to generate enough green electricity to power Scotland’s homes and businesses, but also export electricity to our neighbours, supporting jobs here in Scotland and the decarbonisation ambitions of our partners.

“The significant growth in renewables will deliver a climate friendly energy system that delivers affordable, resilient and clean energy supplies for Scotland’s households, business and communities.

“We will soon be publishing our Green Industrial Strategy setting out the steps we will take to maximise the benefits that Scotland’s abundant natural resources can deliver in creating new jobs and opportunities across the country.

“But in a number of areas progress is being held back by factors such as grid capacity and the lack of a market mechanism for the likes of pumped hydro storage, which is why we need urgent investment from the UK Government now and more consistent commitment to industry in the years ahead.”

Mr Gray also highlighted The Scottish Government’s desire and actions being taken to scale up renewable technologies to “transform and expand Scotland’s clean energy generation sector”, highlighting the need to maximise the economic opportunity on offer.

Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said:

“These record-breaking figures are a major milestone on Scotland’s journey to net-zero, clearly demonstrating the enormous potential of our world-class renewable energy resources.

“We know that increasing clean energy generation leads to significant benefits for our economy with Scotland’s renewable energy industry and supply chain already supporting more than 42,000 jobs and an economic output of over £10.1 billion.

“However, with electricity demand set to rise significantly in the years ahead, we must continue to swiftly deploy renewable energy projects at scale. Not only will this provide clean, cheap energy for Scotland’s homes and businesses but also support our wider heat and transport decarbonisation ambitions.

“Maximising capacity in Contracts for Difference Allocation Round 6 this year will be vital to that effort, alongside enabling the critical infrastructure and investment needed to deliver a truly home-grown clean energy system.”

The news follows the latest report from Strathclyde University’s Fraser of Allander Institute on the economic impact of renewable energy in Scotland, stating that the sector supported more than 42,000 jobs in 2021, generating over £10.1 billion of output. 

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